Why are you angry at the Auschwitz Museum?

The anti-Israel brigade has lost the moral plot.

Mark Birbeck

Topics Politics World

In November last year, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum issued a forthright statement on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Unsurprisingly, the museum supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’s anti-Semitic terror and called for the immediate release of the Israelis held hostage in Gaza following the 7 October attacks. A fierce backlash then ensued. ‘Pro-Palestine’ accounts bombarded the museum with vitriol.

This week, the Auschwitz Museum revealed that, since making that statement condemning Hamas’s murder, torture and kidnapping of Israelis its X account has lost 7,000 followers. This also prompted a flurry of angry responses. Many X users tried to explain why unfollowing or attacking the Auschwitz Museum is actually a principled, ‘progressive’ thing to do.

The response from identitarian activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu was typical:

‘I unfollowed you after your disgraceful endorsement of Israel’s extermination, ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians. The museum should be ashamed of itself. Never again means never again for anyone. You’re an embarrassment to humanity.’

To most people, Mos-Shogbamimu’s tweet will be nothing short of shocking. For many decades, the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland has been the principal symbol of the worst human atrocity in history. The Nazis exterminated one million Jews there, along with a further 100,000 non-Jews, including Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners and others. To describe the museum charged with preserving the memory of these crimes as ‘an embarrassment to humanity’ surely marks a new low for the pseudo-progressive left.

The problem we face runs far deeper than a lack of respect for one important institution. For over 75 years, the Western world recognised the singular evil of the Holocaust and the Nazi’s genocide of the Jews. But in recent years, these historic crimes have been routinely relativised. Indeed, you can see this clearly in the angry responses to the Auschwitz Museum. The museum was bombarded with tweets insisting that Israel’s war with Hamas is actually a ‘genocide’, that Israelis are the new Nazis and that the deaths of civilians in Gaza are somehow comparable to the Shoah.

This Holocaust relativism isn’t just confined to academics, activists or social-media influencers. World leaders are in on the act, too. President Erdoğan of Turkey received warm applause last week for a speech in which he compared Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler, and claimed that Israel treats Gazans like the Nazis treated Jews. This week, the South African government lodged an accusation of genocide against Israel in the International Court of Justice (which Israel will challenge).The memory of the Holocaust is not only being downplayed here. It is also being weaponised to attack and delegitimise the world’s only Jewish state.

Encouragingly, after revealing the loss of 7,000 followers, the Auschwitz Museum announced that it had gained 53,000 new followers in a single day. Clearly, there are many decent-minded people out there who still recognise the unique significance of the Holocaust. But there is still a concerning minority who are determined to relativise it, to downplay it and to use ‘Never Again’ as a weapon against Israel. We cannot afford to let this bigotry fester and grow.

Mark Birbeck is a co-founder of Our Fight, a new campaign in support of Israel and against anti-Semitism. Visit the website here and follow them on X: @OurFightUK.

Picture by: YouTube.

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Topics Politics World


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