Entries in Holocaust (4)


‘Joe the Plumber’ Blames the Holocaust on Gun Control

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is drawing scorn from far outside of the northern Ohio district where he’s running for Congress after posting a campaign video this week that seems to blame the Holocaust and Armenian genocide on gun control.

“In 1911 Turkey established gun control; from 1915 to 1917 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” Wurzelbacher, who is running for the U.S. House, says in the web video while pulverizing fruits and vegetables with blasts from his shotgun.

“In 1939 Germany established gun control; from 1939 to 1945 6 million Jews, 7 million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” he continues, before turning to the camera and announcing “I love America.”

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The National Jewish Democratic Council quickly condemned the video and demanded Wurzelbacher apologize and remove the ad, which the group’s president and CEO David Harris said shows has a “tremendous lack of respect” for the millions who died  in the Holocaust and Armenian genocide.

“It is not acceptable ever to invoke the holocaust to make a political point,” he said. “To say it does a disservice to those who perished and the memory of the Holocaust is putting it mildly.”

Wurzelbacher took to Twitter Tuesday to defend the video, tweeting that “No one in the video said gun control CAUSED genocide” and aimed to justify the video, tweeting “Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that his agenda would not be possible unless the people were disarmed.”

The Ohio congressional candidate’s spokesman Phil Christofanelli stood by the video, telling The Politicker that “there’s nothing offensive about it.”

“Joe is a student of history,” Christofanelli said. “It’s a historical fact that Hitler implemented gun control before the Holocaust and that’s just a fact that was pointed out in the video.”

Wurzelbacher is no stranger to the national spotlight.

He gained nationwide notoriety as “Joe the Plumber” during the 2008 presidential race after Sen. John McCain’s campaign used Wurzelbacher as the poster child for the negative impacts of Barack Obama’s tax plan, which would have increased taxes on Wurzelbacher’s plumbing business.

Wurzelbacher is challenging Democratic incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who has served for 15 terms, for her seat in the U.S. House seat.

Wurzelbacher did not immediately return ABC News’ requests for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Causes Outrage with Reference to ‘Polish Death Camp’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage Tuesday at President Obama’s reference earlier to “a Polish death camp,” as opposed to a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.

“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted.  Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”

The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”

Sikorski also Tuesday night tweeted a link to an Economist story noting that “few things annoy Poles more than being blamed for the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers of their homeland. For many years, Polish media, diplomats and politicians have tried to persuade outsiders to stop using the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ as a shorthand description of Auschwitz and other exemplars of Nazi brutality and mass murder. Unfortunately this seems to have escaped Barack Obama’s staff seem not to have noticed this.”

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement, “The President was referring to Nazi death camps operated in Poland. The President has demonstrated in word and deed his rock-solid commitment to our close alliance with Poland.”

The White House also noted that the president had noted the bravery of Poles during World War II -- in January 2010 in a video he sent to the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, when he referred to “those who tried to save” Jews, “Polish and Hungarian, French and Dutch, Roma and Russian, straight and gay, and so many others. .. Auschwitz also tells another story -- of man’s capacity for good. The small acts of compassion -- the sharing of some bread that kept a child alive. The great acts of resistance that blew up the crematorium and tried to stop the slaughter. The Polish Rescuers and those who earned their place forever in the Righteous Among the Nations.”

It seems likely that a more formal apology will need to be issued.

Alex Storozynski, the president of the Kosciuszko Foundation, lauded the president earlier in the day for recognizing Karski, but now says “Karski would have cringed if he heard this. … So far, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and others have changed their stylebooks to ban the use of this phrase. Now, the Obama White House must do the same. President Obama’s remarks are already being called ‘scandalous’ by media outlets in Poland. Obama was seen reading this phrase off a teleprompter. The president must acknowledge his mistake and apologize for it. He must do it for Karski and the other Poles that risked their lives trying to stop the Holocaust.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Democrat Compares Republicans to Nazis

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The newfound civility didn’t last long.  Political rhetoric in Congress doesn’t get much nastier than the words of one House Democrat during the debate on repealing the health care law.

In an extraordinary outburst on the House floor, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) invoked the Holocaust to attack Republicans on health care and compared rhetoric on the issue to the work of infamous Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

“They say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels," Cohen said. "You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it.  Like blood libel.  That's the same kind of thing. And Congressman Cohen didn’t stop there.

“The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it -- believed it and you have the Holocaust.  We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care.  Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover," Cohen said.

Cohen made his comments late Tuesday night, but they have attracted no attention because his speech was made to a virtually empty House chamber with no reporters around to watch.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ohio GOP House Candidate Defends Wearing Nazi Garb

Photo Courtesy - Rich Iott for Congress(NEW YORK) -- Rich Iott, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House in northwest Ohio, has responded to the recently uncovered photos of him wearing a Nazi uniform, saying he is the victim of "false character attacks."

Photos of Iott -- a Tea Party favorite who is running against Democrat Marcy Kaptur for a Congressional seat in Ohio's ninth district -- posing in a Nazi uniform in a WWII reenactment were discovered by The Atlantic magazine and published in an online article earlier this week.

"Never, in any of my re-enacting of military history, have I meant any disrespect to anyone who served in our military or anyone who has been affected by the tragedy of war, especially the Jewish Community," Iott said in a press release posted Saturday on his campaign website.

In the press release, Iott also published several images of him dressed for other military reenactments that he participated in with the group Wiking from 2003 to 2007, including an image of him in a U.S. World War I military uniform and one with him and his son in Civil War Union uniforms.

Iott has stated that he has been involved with historical reenactments from different eras since he graduated college and his interest in reenactment is purely historical.

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants said Mr. Iott's failure to apologize was "shameful."

There is no evidence that the Kaptur campaign was behind the unearthing of the photos in The Atlantic. Her office was unavailable for comment.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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