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 Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The End of Netanyahu’s Unchecked Reign
The results yielded no clear path to a governing coalition, but represented a rejection of two dangerous ideas.
The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
The Democratic Debates Aren’t Pleasing Anyone
The candidates hate them. The campaigns hate them. The press hates them. For once in American politics, there’s a consensus.
The Atlantic13 min readPsychology
How to Keep Teachers From Leaving the Profession
After 38 years in education, Judith Harper thinks what teachers are missing is more time to learn from one another.