Let me start with where the FFRF is strongest: it is a standing disgrace that the other victims of the Holocaust are ignored. That, however, makes the opposite point to the one that the FFRF thinks it is making.
The error that the FFRF is making is in assuming that the star of david is solely a religious symbol. They have a stack of court cases saying this, but those do not impress me. The simple fact is that the Star is also the symbol, not just of the Jewish religion, but of the Jewish race, or people. The Nazis did not ‘just’ persecute believing Jews, they hunted down anyone with Jewish ancestry. This is because anti-Semitism is not a hatred of the Jewish religion, but of the people as the source of all evil in the world. This is what makes it different from common, vulgar racism. Anti-semitism doesn’t just want to murder jews, it wants to kill anyone and destroy anything that is supposedly part of the ‘Jewish plot’ (meaning capitalism, communism, and all liberal civilisation in the eyes of the Nazis). So all the unnamed victims of the Holocaust were every bit as much victims of anti-Semitism as the Jews were. I would also include in that the very many decent anti-fascist Germans who resisted the Nazis and ended up in concentration camps, or, in one of the twisted ironies of history, being blown to pieces by the RAF (Hamburg, whose working class quarters were solidly red and democratic, got completely hammered by the firebombing).
So it is quite wrong or the FFRF to object to the symbol that was the special focus of hatred, and the raison d’etre of the Nazis. Here’s where I think I can convict the FFRF of sloppy scholarship cheap point scoring.
“They and we are aware that ‘Gott mit uns’ (“God [is] with us”) was the Nazi motto emblazoned on the buckle of the Nazi German soldiers’ uniform – clearly showing the Holocaust was a religiously-motivated genocide.”
Okay, first of all Gott Mit Uns is not a Nazi motto; its origins are far older, and was the standard slogan of the German army, and before it, the Prussian army. It was not used by the ‘Nazi German soldiers’; in point of fact, the slogan of the SS, the real Nazi soldiers, the ones who actually committed the Holocaust was, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue. My Honour Is Loyalty. So, you could argue that the Holocaust was explicitly non-religious or anti-religious, as the SS, the true believers, took Hitler as a higher authority than God Almighty.
Yes, FFRF copies out that quote from Hitler that he was doing God’s work; however, things are just not that simple. Hitler ended up despising Christianity, thought it unworthy of what he called the ‘Aryan’ race, and would have loved to replace it with neo-Paganism (and deeply envied the violence and militarism of Imperial Shinto and Islam). Here is a Hitler Youth song:
We are the happy Hitler Youth;
We have no need for Christian virtue;
For Adolf Hitler is our intercessor
And our redeemer.
No priest, no evil one
Can keep us
From feeling like Hitler’s children.
Not Christ do we follow, but Horst Wessel!
Away with incense and holy water pots…
This does not make the Catholic Church’s record on the Holocaust any less disgraceful. It does, however, make the FFRF look extremely foolish and flippant. If they are opposed to any flippant exploitation of the Holocaust for sectarian ends, well touche.