U.S. President Barack Obama said in a CNN interview to be broadcast Monday that the legacy of slavery in the United States, like the Holocaust, “Is one of those that you don’t forget about. “I think it's important that the way we think about it, the way it's taught, is not one in which there's simply a victim and a victimizer, and that's the end of the story," he added.
The interview on the “Anderson Cooper: 360” program was taped in Ghana, a former slave trading center and President Obama's destination this past weekend.
Obama also that a slave dungeon that he visited during his visit was “reminiscent of the trip I took to Buchenwald." He explained that the dungeon, like the Nazi death camp, "reminds us of the capacity of human beings to commit great evil.”
He has mentioned the Holocaust several times in different contexts since taking office. In his “reaching out to the Muslim world” speech in Cairo last month, President Obama aggravated many Jews by stating that the State of Israel was re-established because of the Holocaust, and despite it.
He also mentioned the situation of Arabs in Gaza immediately after recalling the Holocaust and those who deny it. “Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust … Six million Jews were killed…,” the president declared.
He then immediately continued, “On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people -- Muslims and Christians -- have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they've endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations -- large and small -- that come with occupation.”
Many Jewish spokesmen also criticized President Obama for simply stating that Jews were “killed” in the Holocaust and for not recalling the routine extermination in death marches where Jews died of starvation, gas chambers and daily shootings.