Never Forget? What the Holocaust Doesn't Tell Us About Rwanda

The Kigali memorial museum links the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide in a macabre genealogy of mass murder. But is this a valid or helpful comparison?

Today marks twenty years since the start of the brutal murders of about 800,000 people in Rwanda, carnage that unfolded in a matter of months. We’d like to believe it took us by surprise, but there is just too much evidence to the contrary. It was reported in real time, and we looked away.

Americans tend to view the Rwandan genocide through the lens of the Holocaust, our point of reference at least...