In a statement Monday, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum disavowed comparisons between the Holocaust and other events. The statement follows the recent media storm surrounding Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comments, referring to U.S. immigrant detention centers for as "concentration camps."
The Museum’s statement reaffirmed its standing position on the matter. "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary," reads the press release.
Ocasio-Cortez attracted controversy last week when she said "the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are," on an Instagram Live video. She called the Trump administration a "fascist presidency," and further invoked Holocaust analogies by using the phrase "never again."
The freshman representative's comments drew massive backlash from critics who considered her comparisons unwarranted and offensive. But she also garnered support from political allies. Fellow progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) said she considered the comparison apt.
"There are camps, and people are being concentrated," Omar said. "This is very simple. I don’t know why this is a controversial thing for her to say."
The Holocaust Museum's statement was prompted in part by an employee of the organization who reportedly endorsed Ocasio-Cortez’s analogies to the Holocaust.
The Museum's press release reiterated that "a statement ascribed to a Museum staff historian regarding recent attempts to analogize the situation on the United States southern border to concentration camps in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s does not reflect the position of the Museum."
Ocasio-Cortez has responded to the backlash by singling out criticism from the controversial Rep. Steve King. She tweeted at the congressman: "Mr. King, the Republican party literally stripped you of your Congressional committee assignments because you were too racist even for them. My Jewish constituents have made clear to me that they proudly stand w/ caged children who are starved, denied sleep & sanitation."