The Kristallnacht Comparison is an Inappropriate One

This letter originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2014.

Letters to the Editor
The Wall Street Journal

The letter from Tom Perkins comparing the "demonization of the rich" to "fascist Nazi Germany" and the persecution of German Jews during Kristallnacht offers a vivid case in point of how American discourse is being cheapened and coarsened by facile comparisons to the Holocaust ("Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?," Jan. 25).

Mr. Perkins is entitled to his views, but he discredits himself and his argument by leaping to the absurd conclusion that class differences in America are stirring up sentiments similar to the virulent anti-Semitism that led to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust. This is historical trivialization of the worst kind imaginable.

This month we mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. As we remember those who lost their lives as a result of Hitler's Final Solution, let's hope that cooler heads will prevail and America's business and political leaders can learn to avoid the temptation of indulging in such warped and overheated rhetoric.

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director
Anti-Defamation League
New York

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