'Internment camps? Yes. Concentration camps? No,' says Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel refutes comparisons between USA and Nazi Germany in a passionate Op-ed.

July 30, 2019 12:47
1 minute read.
'Internment camps? Yes. Concentration camps? No,' says Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel speaks at the Edward R. Murrow Forum in 2006. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Ted Koppel, British-American journalist and son of a Holocaust survivor, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post on Tuesday that stresses the difference between the concentration camps run by Nazi Germany and the camps located at the United States’s southern border.

Koppel described in the op-ed an email exchange between himself and another colleague, who referred to the camps run by the United States border as concentration camps, which prompted a deeper discussion.

“It is true that there have been some terrible internment camps — British in South Africa as one example — where people died,” Kopel wrote. “There is, nevertheless, a sharp distinction between a facility in which people die because proper oversight is lacking and a concentration camp which is designed to serve only two purposes: slave labor and extermination of the unwanted."

Koppel argued that the comparisons between the US and Nazi Germany are “rash and overheated” since America has a much stronger democracy than the former fascist state.  His father, according to Koppel,  didn’t escape to Britain until 1937 because he was convinced that Germany “would inevitably come to its senses and reject the racist ravings of Hitler and his followers.”

Then in Britain, in 1940, Koppel’s father was placed in an internment camp then eventually released, which is the reason Koppel and his family is familiar with the distinctions between internment and concentration camps.

“My father was wrong about Germany. I remain certain, however, that I am right about America,” Koppel said.

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