The Atlantic

It’s Not the Holocaust

Trump’s family-separation policy is horrible, but equating it with genocide is both historically and strategically misguided.
Source: Leah Millis / Reuters

The Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents brought a flood of comparisons to the Holocaust. Some described the facilities used to hold the children as “concentration camps.” ICE officials have been called Nazis. President Trump and those around him have been described as Hitler and kapos.  Former CIA Director Michael Hayden posted a picture of the entrance to Birkenau with the message, “Other governments have separated mothers and children.”

I understand Hayden’s outrage. I share it. But something can be horrific without being a genocide or a Holocaust. Defenders of the Trump policy

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

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The Financial Calamity That Is the Teaching Profession
Teachers are suing the government over debt relief that never came—but their financial problems go much deeper than student loans.
The Atlantic7 min read
The Future of the City Is Childless
A few years ago, I lived in a walkup apartment in the East Village of New York. Every so often descending the stairway, I would catch a glimpse of a particular family with young children in its Sisyphean attempts to reach the fourth floor. The mom wo
The Atlantic5 min readTech
The World Is Getting a Pickup-Truck Emoji
It’s a solid, sturdy-looking thing. Painted a handsome navy blue, your truck has just enough rear space to haul something rugged and earthy-smelling—like a Christmas tree or a nice pile of mulch—and a front cab just big enough for you and your golden