On Friday, President Barack
Obama placed a single white flower at the Buchenwald memorial for the
estimated 43,000 people – among them 11,000 Jews – murdered at the
concentration camp. In subdued tones, he said that the passage of time
had not made the crematoria lose their horror. He spoke of his great
uncle, who under Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had been among the camp’s liberators. He recounted how Eisenhower
had toured the camp so he could personally challenge anyone who might
claim that the Allies had exaggerated the Nazi horrors for propaganda
This gave Obama another opportunity to declare that Holocaust denial is “baseless,” “ignorant” and “hateful.
In his Cairo address the day before to the Muslim
and Arab worlds, the president had justified Israel’s right to exist on
the basis of the Holocaust: “The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is
rooted,” he said, “in a tragic history” that culminated in the Shoah.