The Atlantic

What Trump Still Doesn't Understand About the Holocaust

The president’s address downplayed the Shoah’s universal lessons, turning the occasion into an exercise in ethnic politics.
Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Given his administration’s bizarre rhetorical struggles when it comes to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, the bar for Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday at the Holocaust Memorial Museum was low. All he really had to do was show he understands that anti-Semitism is bad, and that the Holocaust happened mostly to Jews. He did that, and more. At times, his speech was genuinely moving. It was also disturbing in a very instructive way.

The Holocaust is both a defining event in the modern history of the Jewish people and a defining event in the modern history of inhumanity. It has profound particular significance to Jews and profound universal significance

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
Trump Supporters Don’t Make Chants About Men
Where the president’s fans once called for a female opponent’s imprisonment, now they are longing for another woman to be literally banished from the country.
The Atlantic6 min read
The Blind Spot of Beyoncé’s Lion King Soundtrack
The singer’s musical accompaniment for the new CGI remake neglects to include any artists from the region that inspired the film—a curious lapse in narrative fidelity.
The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Getting Heated (Again)
July 2019 is on track to be the hottest July ever recorded. Plus: To be reelected in 2020, Trump has to win over this subset of voters, but his rhetoric isn’t helping.