Armed Jews could have stopped Holocaust - US politician

The Holocaust might not have happened if the Jews had guns, a US politician has claimed.

Don Young, a Republican from Alaska, was caught on camera telling locals the Jews were "put into the ovens because they were unarmed".

"They say let's ban the AR-15. OK, let's ban that," Mr Young told a gathering of the Alaska Municipal League last month.

"Then what else are you going to ban? What else? The shotgun? Then long rifles, then sling shots, bows and arrows. Knives. How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia, because their citizens weren't armed. How many Jews were put into the ovens because they were unarmed?"

The AR-15 is a rifle used in many of the United States' mass shootings, including the Florida high school massacre last month.

It's believed at least 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, with some estimates putting the toll as high as 20 million.

A spokesman for Mr Young, 84, said the video was "entirely out of context".

"He was referencing the fact that when Hitler confiscated firearms from Jewish Germans, those communities were less able to defend themselves," he told CBS News.

"He was not implying that an armed Jewish population would have been able to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust, but his intended message is that disarming citizens can have detrimental consequences. A defenseless people are left up to the mercy of its leaders."

The spokesman went on to blame "violence in social media, films and throughout the internet" for "societal disconnect and isolation".

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said it was "mind-bending" the 214,000 Jews left in Germany at the outset of World War II could have prevented the Holocaust.

"Guns or lack of them did not cause the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the product of anti-Semitism and the moral failure and indifference of humans," he told the Huffington Post.

"Arming every European Jew would not have been enough to stop an evil force that was only overcome by the military might of the Allies."

Republicans have long fought against gun control, with President Donald Trump in favour of putting more guns into schools by arming teachers.


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