I have never been active politically in any direct sense, neither have I published my thoughts on political matters before this. However, the current debate surrounding an unspecified number of children kept in cages and other problematic environments, separated from their parents, by the country that I learnt at school is the beacon of liberty and freedom, the USA, and the nature of the debate around these political decisions at the highest level of USA politics, the words used by those politicians in charge, lead me to speak out.
It is essential that the caging of children is stopped as soon as possible. Nothing whatsoever, categorically, justifies that kind of treatment of young, vulnerable human beings. Illegal immigration is a problem but putting children into cages cannot be (part of) the solution.
However, those in charge of the decisions seem not to consider those children as human. They talk about illegal immigrants infesting the country. Infestation is a term referring to vermin. Vermin are not human. Thus, the creatures that infest the country, those illegal immigrants, are not human. The children in question are the children of those immigrants, and they are therefore also not human, by implication.
The Nazis considered Jews as sub-human, as non-human, as vermin. They exterminated as much vermin as they could, very efficiently. This started on a small scale and grew to unimaginable proportions. It may have started with comparatively few people in cages.
The US attorney general commented on the parallel with Nazi Germany, raised by a fellow American, a former CIA director, “In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country”. If that was the only comment by the attorney general, then he is in fact admitting that the parallel raised by the former CIA director is substantial, because the difference the attorney general points out is irrelevant in the context, and many Jews did not get out of Germany because other countries did not want them either and actively closed their borders to them.
The Nazis had showcase concentration camps, in which they showed the world how well the Jews were treated in those camps. In relation to the illegal immigrant children in USA cages, the attorney general and other speakers for the administration insist that children separated from their parents are being treated well, and not abused. What??? A child, separated from his/her parents, in a cage is a sign of that child being well treated? Keeping a child, separated from his/her parents, in a cage is not abuse? Keeping a child, separated from his/her parents, in a cage is not torture? Why do I even have to spell this out? How can any human being doubt that keeping a child, separated from his/her parents, in a cage is not pleasant for a child and that this constitutes abuse and torture? How can any human being stand in front of others and seek to justify such abuse and torture? Some even say that the children are in those facilities, and that means in those cages, to protect them...
The video that is going viral, showing those children’s suffering and their pain, also has soundtrack of officials working at those facilities, whom the authorities assure us are well trained in taking care of children’s needs, making fun of the sounds of the children crying. They do not come across as competent, trained or caring, but as nasty and inhumane. Their attitude, which comes out in what they say and the way they say it, is reminiscent of what we know about the attitude of Nazi concentration camp guards.
Spokespeople of those in power say that all is done in compliance with the law, the law as decided by Congress, the law which officials have sworn to abide by. Is there a law that says that children of illegal immigrants, or children who cross the border illegally on their own, must be kept in cages? When confronted with their crimes, Nazis often excused themselves that they had only followed orders.
With hindsight, many people have asked how the Holocaust was possible. The answer is: among other things because nobody bothered to really do anything against it, either in Germany or outside. I have only hinted, above, at some parallels, very vaguely, very gently, to the developments in 21st century, 2018 USA. Let us hope that history does not repeat itself to the extent that hundreds become thousands, become tens of thousands, and so on, and that facilities are being developed where the current update of Zyklon B is administered to exterminate contemporary vermin.