President Rodrigo Duterte has compared the Philippines’ anti-drug campaign to the Holocaust, saying he would kill as many addicts as Hitler did Jews.
The Filipino president said: “Hitler massacred three million Jews… there’s three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
At least six million Jews as well as other minorities are known to have been killed by the Nazis.
Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a bloody crackdown on drug users and dealers since taking office in June.
According to official figures, more than 3,000 people have been killed in police operations or by vigilantes.
The bodies of those killed are often left out in public, with signs listing the crimes they were accused of.
Rodrigo Duterte has openly said he would “kill 100,000 criminals” to reduce crime in the Philippines.
He was speaking in Davao, the city where as mayor he implemented a tough anti-crime policy and was accused of sanctioning death squads to kill criminals.
Rodrigo Duterte told reporters he had been “portrayed to be some cousin of Hitler” as he lashed out critics who he said were accusing him of genocide.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews, now, there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he said.
According to local news website Rappler, the most recent figures in the Philippines – released earlier in the week – suggests the number of drug users in the country is closer to 1.8 million, just 1.8% of the overall population.
Rodrigo Duterte’s rambling speech continued: “At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…” – at which point he is reported to have pointed to himself.
His comments were criticized as “outrageous” by Jewish groups, Reuters reports.
“Duterte owes the [Holocaust] victims an apology for his disgusting rhetoric,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The US-based Jewish group the Anti-Defamation League said the comments were “inappropriate and deeply offensive”.
“It is baffling why any leader would want to model himself after such a monster,” said communications director Todd Gutnick.
Rodrigo Duterte also used the speech to once again accuse the West of hypocrisy over their criticism of his brutal crackdown.
“You US, EU. You can call me anything. But I was never into… hypocrisy like you,” he said.
“There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and then you’re worried about the death of about 1,000, 2,000, 3,000?”
Auschwitz survivor and Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel has died in New York at the age of 87.
Elie Wiesel lived in Manhattan and had been a US citizen since the 1960s.
He became famous after writing about his experiences as a teenager in Nazi concentration camps, where he lost his mother, father and younger sister.
Elie Wiesel dedicated his life to ensuring the atrocities committed under the Nazis were never forgotten, and the president of the World Jewish Congress has called him “a beacon of light”.
Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance centre announced his death on July 2.
President Barack Obama said Elie Wiesel was “one of the great moral voices of our time”.
Photo Getty Images
Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania, in 1928. In 1940, Sighet was part of a region that was annexed by Hungary. Four years later the town’s entire Jewish population, including 15-year-old Elie Wiesel and his family, was deported to Auschwitz.
Elie Wiesel’s mother and one sister were killed in Nazi death chambers. His father died of starvation and dysentery in the Buchenwald camp. Two other sisters survived.
After the war, Elie Wiesel lived in a French orphanage and went on to become a journalist.
He wrote more than 60 books, starting with Night, a memoir based on his experiences in the death camps.
Night included the lines: “For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living.
“To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
Elie Wiesel’s use of the term Holocaust helped cement the word’s association with Nazi atrocities against the Jews.
In 1986, Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his role in speaking out against violence, repression and racism.
After Elie Wiesel’s death, the head of the World Jewish Congress said he was “undoubtedly one of the great Jewish teachers and thinkers of the past 100 years”.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Elie Wiesel “served as a ray of light and an example of humanity that believes in the goodness of man”.
Elie Wiesel leaves a wife, Marion, who also survived the Holocaust, as well as a son, Elisha.
Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf will be available to buy in Germany for the first time in 70 years.
Reprinting the Nazi manifesto was banned after WW2 by Bavaria’s regional government, which held the copyright.
The copyright has now expired and Munich’s Institute of Contemporary History is to publish a new edition.
Mein Kampf’s new versions are expected in many countries. Historians say the book helps academics understand what happened in the Nazi era.
Its annotated version, with thousands of academic notes, will aim is to show that Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is incoherent and badly written, rather than powerful or seductive.
Many Jewish groups have welcomed this particular publication, saying it is important to have access to a critical edition to help explain the Holocaust.
Mein Kampf was originally printed in 1925 – eight years before Adolf Hitler came to power.
After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, the Allied forces handed the copyright to the book to the state of Bavaria.
The local authorities have refused to allow the book to be reprinted to prevent incitement of hatred, although the book was so widely printed during the war that it remained relatively easily available.
Under European copyright law, the rights of an author of a literary or artistic work runs for the life of the author and for 70 years after his death – in Adolf Hitler’s case on April 30 1945, when he shot himself in his bunker in Berlin.
Those rights cease on the first day of January, 70 years after Hitler’s death, and so publishers now have free access to the original text.
However, German officials have said they will limit public access to the text amid fears that this could stir neo-Nazi sentiment.
US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull has been summoned over Holocaust comments made by FBI director James Comey.
Poland’s foreign ministry said James Comey had suggested in a Washington Post article that some Poles were accomplices.
After the summons, Stephen Mull said he made it clear the US believed “Nazi Germany alone” was responsible.
Six million Polish citizens were killed by the Nazis during World War Two, half of them Jewish.
In the Washington Post article on April 16, aimed at raising education about the Holocaust, James Comey wrote: “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil.
“They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.”
The words sparked a storm of protest in Poland.
Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski told Polish television the comments were an “insult to thousands of Poles who helped Jews”.
PM Ewa Kopacz said: “To those who are incapable of presenting the historic truth in an honest way, I want to say that Poland was not a perpetrator but a victim of World War Two. I would expect full historical knowledge from officials who speak on the matter.”
Ambassador Stephen Mull, who on April 19 attended ceremonies marking the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis, said that any suggestion that “Poland, or any other countries other than Nazi Germany, bear responsibility for the Holocaust, is a mistake, harmful and insulting”.
After the summons, Stephen Mull said: “I made clear that the opinion that Poland is in any way responsible for the Holocaust is not the position of the United States.
“Nazi Germany alone bears responsibility. I now have a lot of work before me to make things right in this situation.”
However, Stephen Mull also said he believed the wider message of the article was that many people had either aided the Nazis or not done enough in response to the atrocities, including in the US.
The Washington Post on April 19 published a column criticizing James Comey’s comments.
Oldest-known Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer died Sunday morning in London at the age of 110, her family has announced.
Alice Herz-Sommer died in a hospital after being admitted Friday, daughter-in-law Genevieve Sommer said.
Her devotion to the piano and to her son sustained her through two years in a Nazi prison camp, and a film about her has been nominated for best short documentary at next week’s Academy Awards.
An accomplished pianist, Alice Herz-Sommer, her husband and her son were sent from Prague in 1943 to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin – Theresienstadt in German – where inmates were allowed to stage concerts in which she frequently starred.
An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent to Terezin and 33,430 died there. About 88,000 were moved on to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most of them were killed.
Alice Herz-Sommer and her son, Stephan, were among fewer than 20,000 who were freed when the notorious camp was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.
Alice Herz-Sommer, her husband and her son were sent from Prague in 1943 to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin
Though she never learned where her mother died after being rounded up, and her husband died of typhus at Dachau, in her old age she expressed little bitterness.
Alice Herz-Sommer was born on November 26, 1903, in Prague, and started learning the piano from her sister at age 5.
As a girl, she met the author Franz Kafka, a friend of her brother-in-law, and delighted in the stories that he told.
Alice married Leopold Sommer in 1931. Their son was born in 1937, two years before the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Jews were allowed to shop for only half an hour in the afternoon, by which time the shops were empty. Most Jewish families were forced to leave their family apartments and were crammed into one apartment with other families, but her family was allowed to keep its home.
In 1942, her 73-year-old mother was transported to Terezin, then a few months later to Treblinka, an extermination camp.
In 1949, Alice Herz-Sommer left Czechoslovakia to join her twin sister Mizzi in Jerusalem. She taught at the Jerusalem Conservatory until 1986, when she moved to London.
Alice Herz-Sommer’s son, who changed his first name to Raphael after the war, made a career as a concert cellist. He died in 2001.
Jerry Lewis described his unreleased 1970s Holocaust movie The Day The Clown Cried as “bad, bad, bad”.
The 87-year-old comedian directed, wrote and starred in the film.
Now, thanks to some leaked video, people can see how Jerry Lewis might have been right.
A seven-minute report from a 1972 Danish television show about the making of The Day The Clown Cried surfaced recently, and based on that, the movie looks hammy and self-important at the same time.
Jerry Lewis described his unreleased 1970s Holocaust movie The Day The Clown Cried as very bad
Shot more than 40 years ago, the movie stars Jerry Lewis, in one of his first serious turns as an actor, as a circus performer arrested by the Gestapo and thrown into a concentration camp. Once there, he starts performing for Jewish children, and reportedly travels with some of them to Auschwitz.
The movie was never released and only a handful of people have ever seen it. It nevertheless is considered one of the great fiascoes in modern movie history, joining the ranks of Ishtar, Gigli, Howard the Duck and Heaven’s Gate.
In the newly surfaced video, Jerry Lewis is seen in a few scenes doing a bit with a cigarette and a flickering candle, flying a paper airplane and then trying (and largely failing) to juggle a few balls.
In a 1992 story about the film in Spy magazine, Harry Shearer said of the movie: “The closest I can come to describing the effect is if you flew down to Tijuana and suddenly saw a painting on black velvet of Auschwitz.”
At this past May’s Cannes Film Festival, where Jerry Lewis was premiering his critically drubbed Max Rose, the comedian said of The Day The Clown Cried: “No one will ever see it because I’m embarrassed at the poor work.”
Veteran comedian Joan Rivers has been blasted by a Jewish pressure group for a joke she made about German supermodel Heidi Klum’s daring Oscars outfit.
“The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens,” said Joan Rivers – herself Jewish – before doubling over with laughter.
Joan Rivers, 79, made the comment about the Holocaust on Monday’s Fashion Police show on E! when reviewing the low-cut shimmering gold dress worn by Heidi Klum to attend Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in West Hollywood.
The joke has attracted the wrath of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization that combats anti-Semitism, and says Joan Rivers has trivialized an horrific event.
ADL leader Abraham Foxman said: “Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better. This remark is so vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors, and indeed to all Americans, that we cannot believe it made it to the airwaves.
“Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence.
“Almost as bad as her original comment is the fact that she sat there doubled over with laughter after saying it.”
Abraham Foxman continued: “There are certain things about the Holocaust that should be taboo. This is especially true for Jews, for whom the Holocaust is still a deeply painful memory.
“It is vulgar and offensive for anybody to use the death of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to make a joke, but this is especially true for someone who is Jewish and who proudly and publicly wears her Jewishness on her sleeve.”
Joan Rivers has been blasted by a Jewish pressure group for a joke she made about German supermodel Heidi Klum’s daring Oscars outfit
Joan Rivers has refused to apologize, claiming her humor help to keeps the Holocaust in the public consciousness.
The comedian said: “My husband lost the majority of his family at Auschwitz, and I can assure you that I have always made it a point to remind people of the Holocaust through humor.”
Joan Rivers’ husband, Edgar Rosenberg, was born in Germany but his family emigrated to Denmark and then South Africa in order to escape the Nazis.
Joan Rivers and Edgar Rosenberg married in 1965 after he hired her to work with him on a screenplay. Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide by overdosing on prescription drugs in 1987.
When Pope Benedict XVI tried to release a dove as a symbolic appeal for peace on Holocaust Day, it led to quite a flap.
A resident seagull swooped in and attacked the bird of peace as soon as the Pope released the dove from a balcony at the Vatican.
Watched by thousands of pilgrims below the fearsome gull, leading with its beak, chased and harried the terrified dove as it tried to escape among the ancient pillars and porticos.
Some 2,000 youngsters from Rome had marched to St Peter’s Square for the annual Caravan of Peace which takes place on the last Sunday of January and finishes with the release of two white doves by the Pope shortly after the Angelus prayer.
A seagull swooped in and attacked the dove released by Pope Benedict XVI from a balcony at the Vatican on Holocaust Day
It is not the first time the Pope’s prayers have not protected his birds of peace. Last year the two doves he released turned tail and flew straight back in through the open window.
“They want to stay in the Pope’s home,” Pope Benedict had said.
What he had to say about yesterday’s kerfuffle was not known. But someone must have said a quick little prayer, as the dove eventually made good its escape.