Bob Scher’s letter ‘All humanity suffered during the Holocaust’ (JW 4/27) does violent disservice to the concept and indeed to the very word itself by applying it to “all humanity.” Of course all humanity suffered during the time the Holocaust occurred. Scher is at pains to attack an article about an ‘inflated count of non-Jewish victims of Nazi Germany’. Unfortunately his letter deflects the reader from the salient fact that Adolf Hitler’s stated purpose from the time of his imprisonment in 1924 was the elimination of Jews from the face of the earth. Purposefully or not, Scher clearly misstates history, as does the Wikipedia note, by acknowledging that some conflate the Holocaust with the wholesale slaughter by Nazi Germany and its co-criminals of tens of millions of non-Jewish victims. Here’s the Encyclopedia Britannica on the Holocaust:
Holocaust, Hebrew Shoʾah, Yiddish and Hebrew Ḥurban (“Destruction”), the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this “the final solution to the Jewish question.” The word Holocaust is derived from the Greek holokauston, a translation of the Hebrew word ʿolah, meaning a burnt sacrifice offered whole to God. This word was chosen because in the ultimate manifestation of the Nazi killing program—the extermination camps—the bodies of the victims were consumed whole in crematoria and open fires.
One cannot even accurately label as genocide Germany’s slaughter of millions of Russians, soldiers and civilians, of millions of other victim of Nazi Germany, of which the Holocaust singled out only the Jews, since Nazi Germany gathered in its other victims almost indiscriminately.