Is it right to call the migrant detainment centers on our southern border “concentration camps,” as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did recently? Her comments were meant to evoke the Holocaust, and to call forth our indignation at our government’s mistreatment of refugees. But historical parallels should be drawn carefully; what’s happening in Clint, Tex., is not equivalent to what took place in Sobibor, Treblinka or Auschwitz.
There is another historical analog that seems more apt: the internment camps in Vichy France that housed refugees from occupied Europe in the 1940s.
We know a lot about these camps thanks in part to Varian Fry, an American journalist who helped save thousands of writers and artists blacklisted by the Gestapo, and Daniel Bénédite, his close associate.… Seguir leyendo »