Gun control debate: US congressman says Jews died in Holocaust because they were unarmed

Amid heated debate in the US in the aftermath of the Florida high school shooting, State of Alaska Rep. Donald Young said during a debate on gun control last week that Jews were murdered in the Holocaust because they were unarmed. The Anti-Defamation League had previously slammed statements linking the two issues.
Auschwitz Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS

GOP Congressman for the State of Alaska Donald Young claimed Jews could have been saved during the Holocaust if they were armed. The statements were made during a debate on gun control last week in the aftermath of the Florida high school shooting.

“How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed?,” Young exclaimed in response to a question about school safety. “Fifty million in Russia, because their citizens weren't armed. How many Jews were put into the ovens because they were unarmed?"

Director of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt in the past has repeatedly rebuked similar sentiments. “It is mind-bending to suggest that personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000 remaining in Germany in 1938) could have stopped the totalitarian onslaught of Nazi Germany when the armies of Poland, France, Belgium and numerous other countries were overwhelmed by the Third Reich,” wrote Greenblatt in a 2015 Op-Ed in the Huffington Post. “This historical second-guessing is deeply offensive to Jews, Holocaust survivors and those who valiantly fought against Hitler during World War II.”

The heated public debate surrounding gun control resurfaced in the US following the deadly shooting in Parkland. Amid a wave of gun control demonstrations by surviving students, several US companies have announced they are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA), including banks, airlines and car rental companies.  

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