After Donald Trump announced he wanted to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, do a mass deportation of all illegal immigrants, and ban Muslims from entering the United States, many people started comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler. Strangely, many Rabbis have come out to say that making comparisons of Trump to Hitler is wrong because it diminishes the real tragedy of the Holocaust and the six million Jews who died.
When you read the arguments against comparing Trump to Hitler, you realize that these rabbis aren’t defending Trump so much as they’re protecting the memory of the Holocaust. These rabbis argue that Trump is different from Hitler because Hitler committed genocide against the Jews while Trump has simply talked about deporting illegal immigrants and banning Muslims.
So these rabbis are correct in saying that Trump is not Hitler because Trump has not yet rounded up masses of people and exterminated them in concentration camps. Then again in the early days before he came into power, Adolf Hitler didn’t do that either. Hitler only committed mass atrocities against people once he became the leader of Germany while Trump has not yet had the chance to become the leader of the United States.
With that in mind, the arguments against comparing Trump to Hitler could also be used to defend Hitler in his younger days from Hitler after he came to power. After all, before he became Chancellor of Germany, Hitler also didn’t round up Jews and exterminate them. He simply blamed all of Germany’s problems on Jews and encouraged violence against them.
The main argument rabbis are using to avoid comparing Trump to Hitler is that Hitler committed atrocities but Trump has not. So if Trump is not Hitler in his later days, perhaps it’s more accurate to compare Trump to Hitler during Hitler’s early days.
In the early days, Hitler blamed a group of people (Jews) for all the problems of the nation. Today, Trump blames two groups of people (Mexicans and Muslims) for all the problems of the nation.
In the early days, Hitler said he would make the country great again by making it a stronger world military power. Today, Trump says he will make the country great again by making it a stronger world military power.
In the early days, Hitler roused people’s emotions by promising simple solutions (take over more land) to complex problems (the consequences of the Treaty of Versailles). Today, Trump rouses people’s emotions by promising promising simple solutions (build a wall) to complex problems (illegal immigration).
So in many ways, Trump is not the Hitler who committed atrocities and genocide, but perhaps Trump really is much closer to the Hitler of the early days before he committed atrocities and genocide.
Maybe the comparison of Trump to Hitler isn’t to diminish the Holocaust but to warn people that Trump is so close to Hitler during his early days that if we allow Trump to go unchecked, he could turn into the Hitler of the later days because he’s already so close to Hitler during the early days.
If the arguments of rabbis defending Trump from comparisons of Hitler are valid, then those same arguments could have been equally valid in defending Hitler during the early days. After all, Hitler in the early 1930’s hadn’t killed any Jews yet; he simply advocated blaming them for everything.
So if these rabbis dismissing Trump comparisons to Hitler were around in Germany during the 1930’s, would they have advocated people to stop comparing Hitler in his early days with Hitler in his later days?
The main reason people are comparing Trump to Hitler is to warn people that Trump is too closely following Hitler’s actions before Hitler committed atrocities. The point is to keep Trump out of office so he won’t have a chance to commit atrocities like Hitler did.
Perhaps Trump won’t commit atrocities like Hitler did, but do you really want to take that chance, knowing that Trump is far too similar to Hitler in Hitler’s early days?
Comparing Trump to Hitler isn’t meant to diminish the Holocaust in any way. It’s meant to warn people that there’s a new person capable of creating a new horror to the world because he’s closely following Hitler in the early days.
It’s fine for rabbis to say that Trump isn’t Hitler because there was only one Hitler and there will never be another Hitler. However, there can be people who may be similar to Hitler (or possibly even worse), supported by rabid followers who believe in violence to solving problems. Do you want to take a chance on putting someone like that in power?
Trump is not Hitler. He could be even worse. If that happens, people could then compare Hitler to Donald Trump.