I have got to admit, I am little miffed, the knee jerk tendency to reject analogies that compare current events to the Holocaust has got to stop, especially as the Russian government responds with impunity to the global opposition to it's new anti-gay laws.
To anyone who insists differently, I ask, when was the last time that it was appropriate to analogize something to the Holocaust? Was it after the genocide in Rwanda? Was it after the genocide in Darfour? Was it after the genocide in Bosnia? Will it be after the Ugandans round up the gays and put them to death? Has there ever been a moment before the full calamity of a genocide has hit when it's been appropriate to say this is like the Holocaust?
Larry Kramer was roundly criticized for analogizing the AIDS epidemic to a holocaust, for calling New York City our Auschwitz, for calling Reagan our Hitler. And yet that's the kind of talk that was necessary to get people to wake up and do something.
Shying away from such analogies protected nobody.
The point of never forgetting, which is our moral obligation, is not to stand as a bystander and point to the exact final outcome and recognize the obvious finality of it all the next time there is a final solution. It's to remember what led to the final outcome and to prevent that outcome from every occurring again.
Granted, there are no concentration camps, though who among us can vow for the treatment gay people receive in Russian prisons? People on Russian talk shows are recommending sending gay people to Siberia? Is that a sufficient analogy? The government pronouncement against gays is sparking violence against LGBT people.
If you recall, Hitler told the IOC that he would not tolerate any Jewish signs during the 1935 Olympics. There's nothing trivial about what's happening in Russia. And if analogizing to the Holocaust is what's required to get people to realize that, so be it.