The Holocaust Museum made a public statement this on its website this November 19, 2015, condemning those who would turn away Syrian refugees and explicitly linking their plea with those of German Jews fleeing Nazi occupation.
An excerpt from the statement:
“Acutely aware of the consequences to Jews who were unable to flee Nazism, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum looks with concern upon the current refugee crisis. While recognizing that security concerns must be fully addressed, we should not turn our backs on the thousands of legitimate refugees.
The Museum calls on public figures and citizens to avoid condemning today’s refugees as a group. It is important to remember that many are fleeing because they have been targeted by the Assad regime and ISIS for persecution and in some cases elimination on the basis of their identity.”
Many political pundits have linked the plight of those escaping Nazi Germany and the Syrian refugees, as there are similarities in both their plight and their public perception, but this marks the first major Jewish organization that has made the connection.
Furthermore, the Holocaust Museum is normally a non-partisan body, so making a firmly political public statement is very uncommon for the organization.
While some take issue with the fact that the situations are not perfectly analogous, it is true that both are demoralized people desperately trying to escape an oppressive and totalitarian regime. Furthermore, many feared the refugee Jews would turn out to be Nazi spies and as such deferred helping them in favor of increased security.
Clearly, the Holocaust Museum finds the similarities more pressing than the differences.
This should come as yet another blow for the Republican governors and other political figures whocontinue to turn their back on the refugees, and should bolster those who have vowed to provide humanitarian aid—including Seth Moulton, a four-tour veteran and Democratic representative from Mass. who opened his own home to a refugee.
It is also important to note that France itself has vowed to keep its border and home open to those in need, pledging to take in 30,000 refugees.