Last month, performances in Germany of the play Auschwitz on the Beach were canceled after much outrage over the work’s central conceit: that Europe is guilty of establishing “concentration camps” for the refugees streaming into its borders, mostly from war-torn or impoverished areas of the Middle East and Africa. Nonetheless, writes Giulio Meotti, such analogies persist:
[F]or the last three years, [European] governments, non-governmental organizations, bureaucrats, charities, and the media have embraced migrants in the millions, welcoming them with open arms. The Jews during World War II—most of whom were turned away, turned in, or betrayed by European governments—were not so fortunate. . . .
The current misrepresentation was first formulated by Sweden’s deputy prime minister, Asa Romson. “We are turning the Mediterranean into the new Auschwitz,” she said. Since then, this sham comparison has entered the European mainstream. . . . Even Pope Francis, who compared a center for migrants to “concentration camps,” adopted this nonsense. . . .
In Italy, currently at the center of the migrant crisis, the “Holocaust comparison” has even entered into the country’s jurisprudence. An Italian tribunal recently ordered the government to pay compensation of 30,000 euros to the municipality of Bari for “damage to the image of the town” caused by the presence of a migrant identification center. “Think about Auschwitz, a place that immediately recalls the concentration camp of the Holocaust and certainly not the Polish town in the vicinity,” the magistrate said. . . .
[Such] dramatic remarks seem to reflect a high degree of guilt by Europeans about not having offered more help to the Jews [during the Holocaust. But] the point is that . . . a debate about immigration—how to manage and control it—is being shut down. On one side, you find people who want to “stop the new Shoah” and, on the other side, “collaborators” who want to stop the large wave of unvetted migrants.