The Holocaust — the mechanized butchery of six million people because of who they were — is unprecedented in history, as sui generis as the totalitarianism that conceived it.
Hannah Arendt notes that the advent of historical circumstances, mass propaganda, and a technology of death made it possible.
To compare the plight of largely economic migrants at America’s southern border to the Holocaust inures us to the magnitude and historical impact of the unfathomable.
The Jews fleeing Europe were actual refugees. The Nazis early on boasted of past crimes against the Jews and promised future ones. As David Wyman argues, America not only refused them entry under an unfilled quota; the Roosevelt administration conspired with the British government to prevent Jewish refugees from finding safe haven.
The Jews were not economic migrants. They were not a potential economic burden on the countries that could have taken them.