Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democratic socialist, on Friday retweeted a post on Twitter that said President Trump is running a “concentration camp system” at the U.S.-Mexico border.
” ‘We have what I would call a concentration camp system… a mass detention of civilians without trial.’ 24 people *that we know of* have died under ICE under Trump so far, plus 6 children in other agencies since September,” wrote Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, who said in her Twitter profile that she has “Bylines NYT, WaPo, Time, The Atlantic etc.”
“We have what I would call a concentration camp system… a mass detention of civilians without trial.”
24 people *that we know of* have died under ICE under Trump so far, plus 6 children in other agencies since September.
THREAD. Important. 1/xhttps://t.co/YXiDOkx68A
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) June 14, 2019
The tweet cites a piece in Esquire headlined, “An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border,” written by Jack Holmes. The sub-headline says, “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz.”
Holmes then cites Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, who says, “We have what I would call a concentration camp system… and the definition of that in my book is, mass detention of civilians without trial.”
Then the piece cites Waitman Wade Beorn, a Holocaust and genocide studies historian and a lecturer at the University of Virginia. “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed—at the most basic level—to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.”
And then the piece says “So far, 24 people have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Trump administration, while six children have died in the care of other agencies since September.”
Let’s slow down a bit.
Dachau concentration camp “was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in 1933, intended to hold political prisoners,” Wikipedia says. “Opened by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. … Prisoners lived in constant fear of brutal treatment and terror detention including standing cells, floggings, the so-called tree or pole hanging, and standing at attention for extremely long periods. There were 32,000 documented deaths at the camp, and thousands that are undocumented.”
Then there’s Auschwitz. “Of the estimated 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, at least 1.1 million died, around 90 percent of them Jews,” says its Wikipedia page. “Approximately one in six Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp. Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 non-Jewish Poles, 23,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, tens of thousands of others of diverse nationalities, and an unknown number of gay men. Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died because of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.”
There’s no comparison. Enough said.