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It’s Disgraceful to Compare European Migrants to Holocaust Victims


If we are to believe Robert Frolich, Hungary’s chief rabbi, we’re witnessing scenes not seen in Europe since the Holocaust. “It was horrifying when I saw those images [of migrants in Europe],” Frolich told The New York Times. “It reminded me of Auschwitz.”

What were those images? Thousands of migrants had entered the Czech Republic illegally, and police had written numbers on the arms of some with markers, to help keep track of them. This simple procedure reminded the rabbi of the tattooing of concentration camp inmates marked for death. Meanwhile, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and France  have been erecting flimsy razor-wire fences in a desperate and unsuccessful bid to keep out illegal immigrants who have been pouring across their borders en masse for weeks and months.

Another outrage caused Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s Jewish executive director, to trot out his own Holocaust comparison. “Certainly those images of the trains can’t help but conjure up nightmares of the Holocaust,” he pontificated.

Roth was referring the trains carrying thousands of migrants from their points of illegal entry in sovereign nations like Hungary towards Germany, via Austria, where they had insisted on going, and where they would be housed in relative comfort – not shuffled off to their deaths in concentration camps.

“They tell them that the train was going to Austria and then take them to a camp instead,” Frolich chimed in. “[I]t is very similar to what happened to Jews in the 1940s.”

Is it? Such gratuitous comparisons to the fate of Jewish Holocaust victims are not only fatuous; they are disgraceful – especially coming from a rabbi and a human rights activist, both of whom should know better. It was the migrants themselves who had insisted on getting on those trains in the first place. When Hungarian authorities in Budapest tried to stop them, the asylum-seekers came close to rioting.


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