Photo Credit: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Facebook page
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez --lots of noise

Amazingly, some people are defending Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for comparing American detention centers at our southern border to Nazi concentration camps. Well, here are some pertinent facts to consider:

The illegal immigrants in these detention centers have options. They can (often) obtain legal status in this country or return to their country of origin. The Jews in concentration camps had no choices. They were deported there by force, without warning or recourse. They could be dragged from the street or taken from their homes in the dead of night. They were legal citizens of the countries they lived in and had committed no crime – save for being Jewish.


As a child of Holocaust survivors, I am appalled that supposedly intelligent individuals cannot distinguish between American detention centers and Nazi concentration camps. While conditions at these centers are not ideal, no one is throwing babies against the wall to smash their heads; no one is being starved, worked, or beaten to death; and no one is being denied food, shelter, or medical treatment.

Comparing the centers to concentration camps dishonors the memories of those killed in the camps and diminishes the atrocities that occurred there. Nazi camps were not designed to temporarily detain immigrants who were trying to enter a country illegally. They didn’t house Jews clamoring to get into Nazi Germany or German-occupied Poland.

Jews were shipped to camps in packed cattle cars by force – without food to eat, fresh air to breathe, or a toilet to relieve themselves. Once they arrived, those who survived the ride (a good many did not) were savagely chased from the cattle cars as a Nazi beast determined who would line up on the left and who on the right – who would live for a while and who would immediately be sent to the “showers” to be gassed and subsequently burned in a crematorium.

Child-parent separations in Nazi camps were permanent. Everyone was stripped of their belongings and had their heads shaven. Those who weren’t immediately killed were starved, sadistically tortured, and practically worked to death. Those who miraculously survived till the end of the war looked like walking skeletons.

Ocasio-Cortez’s intent to malign President Trump by falsely comparing his administration’s policies to those of Nazi Germany is blatantly obvious, even as it is outrageous. Even more outrageous, though, is the support she has received from Democrat Party leaders, including left-wing Jewish activists.

The fact is, if the Democrats cared about the situation on the border, they would support the president’s efforts to secure it and facilitate the legal entry of immigrants into this country. But they don’t care. They just wish to score cheap political points. And if that means stepping on the graves of six million Jews, that is what they’ll do.


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Ettie Kryksman is a longtime yeshiva and public school teacher living in Brooklyn.