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Holocaust museum reacts to WH defense of Remembrance Day statement

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum released a statement Monday afternoon shortly after White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended the fact that President Trump’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism.

{mosads}”The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. Nazi ideology cast the world as a racial struggle, and the singular focus on the total destruction of every Jewish person was at its racist core. Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy. As Elie Wiesel said, ‘Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims,’” the museum wrote in its statement.

“The Holocaust teaches us profound truths about human societies and our capacity for evil. An accurate understanding of this history is critical if we are to learn its lessons and honor its victims.”

The statement does not mention Trump by name, but it was released following Spicer’s declaration that the president had “by and large” been praised for his statement.

Trump drew ire when his Friday statement marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day omitted Jewish people.

“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror,” began Trump’s statement.

On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said that omitting a reference to the Jewish people from the statement was a “historical mistake.”

Trump’s administration has defended the statement, saying it hoped to be more inclusive with its message.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN over the weekend that “despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”

“The president went out of his way to recognize the Holocaust and the suffering that went through it and the people that were affected by it and the loss of life,” Spicer told reporters Monday.

“The idea that you are nitpicking this statement that sought to remember this tragic event that occurred and the people who died in it is just ridiculous,” he said.

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