From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
There's fake news and there's fake non-news. You might call fake non-news studiously ignored legitimate news. Call each a prong in the Establishment's two-pronged attack on real news.
“'Five million non-Jews died in the Holocaust.'
"It’s a statement that shows up regularly in declarations about the Nazi era. It was implied in a Facebook post by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesperson’s unit last week marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And it was asserted in an article shared by the Trump White House in defense of its controversial Holocaust statement the same day omitting references to the 6 million Jewish victims.
"It is, however, a number without any scholarly basis.
"Indeed, say those close to the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, its progenitor, it is a number that was intended to increase sympathy for Jewish suffering but which now is more often used to obscure it.
. . .
"Yehuda Bauer, an Israeli Holocaust scholar who chairs the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, said he warned his friend Wiesenthal, who died in 2005, about spreading the false notion that the Holocaust claimed 11 million victims – 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews.
“I said to him, ‘Simon, you are telling a lie,' Bauer recalled in an interview Tuesday. He said, ‘Sometimes you need to do that to get the results for things you think are essential.’
"Bauer and other historians who knew Wiesenthal said the Nazi hunter told them that he chose the 5 million number carefully: He wanted a number large enough to attract the attention of non-Jews who might not otherwise care about Jewish suffering, but not larger than the actual number of Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, 6 million."
Here's the money quote, oozing irony:
"Nonetheless, Weitzman acknowledged that Wiesenthal’s formulation, decades later, was inadvertently contributing to the efforts among right-wing nationalists in Europe to minimize Jewish suffering in the Holocaust.
“'This is used as a political tool to minimize the Jewish aspect, to write it out of history, or to maximize other victims’ suffering to make them the prime victims and claim a place of honor in the role of victims,' he said. 'Unfortunately to some people, it becomes a competitive game, especially for political purposes.'”
. . .
“'The Trump statement makes a salad of the Holocaust,' [Bauer] said. 'This is soft denial.'”