Elon Musk condemned after posting meme comparing Justin Trudeau to Hitler

Elon Musk and the Hitler meme he tweeted
The billionaire has already faced trouble for previous tweets. Photo credit: Getty Images / Supplied

Controversial billionaire Elon Musk has been condemned after tweeting a meme using Adolf Hitler to criticise Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Tesla CEO was replying to a tweet reporting on Canadian authorities ordering financial institutions in the country to avoid interacting with cryptocurrency addressed tied to the ongoing trucker protests.

Over a picture of the Nazi leader the words "Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a budget." were printed and shared with his 74 million followers.

Amid swift backlash, including a tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial, Musk deleted the post.

"Using the image of Adolf Hitler and therefore exploiting the tragedy of all people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured and murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany created by him is sad and disturbing," the memorial wrote.

"It disrespects the memory of all victims and hurts many people."

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) also blasted Musk's tweet, demanding an apology.

"Elon Musk has exercised extremely poor judgement by invoking Hitler to make a point on social media," it wrote.

"Comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to a genocidal dictator who murdered millions is not an appropriate way to criticise policies. He must apologise immediately."

A Tesla fan account with 37,000 followers, dedicated to "spreading Tesla facts, countering disinformation" replied to Musk's meme post claiming the Hitler comparison was actually closer than had been indicated.

"Actually, a little known historical fact is that pre-WWII Germany's military buildup was in large part financed through deficit spending, so-called 'Mefo bills': bonds all Germany companies could substitute for tax payments," it wrote.

"So he had no budget either…"

Rather than condemning the post, Musk replied suggesting his followers read a book about the economic history of Nazi Germany "for an in-depth explanation".

Musk has only tweeted briefly since deleting his original tweet.

"Reasons to hate are remembered better than reasons to love. An evolutionary asymmetry helpful to survival, but counterproductive when survival is not at stake," he wrote.

It's not clear if that was in response to the pushback against his Nazi comparison or is unrelated.

The latest stoush comes just a week after Tesla was sued in California over allegations by Black workers the Fremont factory was segregated, and referred to as the 'slave ship' or 'the plantation'.

The SpaceX founder's social media behaviour has also brought condemnation before. He's used his platform to make sex jokes against a US senator and had to pay a US$20 million fine for tweeting about taking Tesla private.

That raised the ire of the US Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC), who also fined Tesla US$20 million.

And just 10 days ago, the SEC subpoenaed Tesla regarding Musk's Twitter poll in November asking his followers whether he should sell 10 percent of the company.