ADL Calls Use Of Nazi Reference By Jerry Brown "Offensive And Inappropriate"

San Francisco, CA, June 14, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown's use of Nazi imagery, when he compared political opponent Meg Whitman's campaign methods to those of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, deeply offensive and inappropriate. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Brown told a Bay Area radio station that, "It's like Goebbels. Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. [Whitman] wants to be president. That's her ambition, the first woman president. That's what this is all about." 

ADL issued the following statement:

ADL is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.  We are non-partisan and take no position with respect to either of the candidates for governor. However, we believe that the use of Nazi references to underscore a political point is inappropriate and offensive under any circumstance. 

Comparisons to Nazis trivialize the extent of the Nazi regime's crimes against humanity, diminish the suffering of survivors, and offend those who understand the profound evil that Nazism represented. 

We urge Jerry Brown to publicly retract his statements, and urge all political candidates to use their stature as political leaders to condemn the use of Holocaust references for political purposes and find other ways to communicate their views.

On June 15, 2010, Jerry Brown apologized for his remarks.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.