New York, NY, January 24, 2013 ... Concerned over the proliferation of remarks comparing gun control legislation in the United States to policies upheld by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on critics of gun control legislation to stop using references to Hitler and the Nazis, saying they are “historically inaccurate and offensive,” especially to Holocaust survivors and their families.
“We know that the national debate over gun control is one of the most divisive issues in the land, and while Americans are entitled to have strong opinions, there is also language that is inappropriate and offensive in any such discussion,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. “The idea that supporters of gun control are doing something akin to what Hitler’s Germany did to strip citizens of guns in the run-up to the Second World War is historically inaccurate and offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors and their families.”
Several national pundits and others outside of politics in recent weeks have compared the issue of gun control in the U.S. to actions taken by the Nazi regime. Some have suggested that President Obama’s proposals are reminiscent of Hitler’s gun-control policy. Others have argued that if the victims of the Holocaust had better access to guns, the Nazi regime would not have been able to systematically murder six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust.
Some examples of those bringing Nazi and/or Holocaust analogies into the discussion over gun control include:
According to ADL, the small number of personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000) remaining in Germany in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state. When they had weapons, Jews could symbolically resist, as they did in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and elsewhere, but could not stop the Nazi genocide machine. Gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.