Yad Vashem in Subtle Rebuke to Trump: Holocaust Remembrance Must Be 'Historically Accurate'

In response to president's failure to mention Jews or anti-Semitism, Holocaust center stresses 'unprecedented genocide of six million Jews,' but doesn't mention Trump by name.

A Holocaust survivor lays a wreath in Thessaloniki, Greece this week on the 74th anniversary of the first transport of Jews from the city to Auschwitz.
Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters

President Donald Trump's failure to mention the Jews in his Holocaust Remembrance Day statement last week was implicitly criticized in a press release issued on Tuesday by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center.

"The Holocaust was the unprecedented genocide of six million Jews, perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, motivated by a radically racist, anti-Semitic ideology, which sought the annihilation of the Jewish people, its culture and its heritage," the center said.

"Yad Vashem emphasizes the imperative to understand the Holocaust in a historically accurate manner, in order to ensure that it remains a perpetually relevant component of human consciousness and discourse throughout the world."

The center continued that what makes the Holocaust a "distinct event of eternal universal significance" was the intent and policy of the Nazis "to wipe out an entire people."

Trump's statement last Friday decried the "horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror," but failed to specifically mention either anti-Semitism or Jews.

"It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust," Trump's statement began. "It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

The statement's failure to mention Jews was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League and many other American Jewish groups.