Harry Belafonte, Woody Allen Criticized for Statements about Nazis
A leading Holocaust Studies institute is urging entertainers Harry Belafonte, Woody Allen, and Dick Gregory to retract their recent statements comparing the Bush administration, Israelis, and black conservatives to Nazis.
Belafonte even claimed that there were "a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of (Adolf Hitler's) Third Reich."
"Some entertainers simply don't know much about history," said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. "The fact is that there were no Jews in Hitler's hierarchy, the policies of America and Israel are not similar to those of Hitler, and African-American conservatives are not comparable to Nazis."
The Wyman Institute is urging the three entertainers to publicly retract their "inaccurate and hurtful" remarks about Hitler and the Holocaust. Dr. Medoff said: "Such analogies pollute public discourse, by trivializing the brutal horrors committed by the Nazis. Hitler was a maniacal dictator whose regime systematically annihilated six million Jews, and launched a world war that caused the deaths of more than forty million people. How can any reasonable person put Hitler and the Nazis in the same sentence as American or Israeli leaders, or black conservatives?"
In an interview with Cybercast News Service on August 5, 2005, Belafonte dismissed the significance of African-Americans holding prominent positions in the Bush administration, saying: "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content, or value." (CNSNews.com)
Comedian Dick Gregory, also interviewed by CNS News, said that African-American conservatives "have a right to exist, but why would I want to walk around with a swastika on my shirt after the way Hitler done messed it up?"
Earlier this summer, comedian and filmmaker Woody Allen said in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel: "The history of the world is like: he kills me, I kill him. Only with different cosmetics and different castings: so in 2001 some fanatics killed some Americans, and now some Americans are killing some Iraqis. And in my childhood, some Nazis killed Jews. And now, some Jewish people and some Palestinians are killing each other." (Der Spiegel, June 20, 2005)
ABOUT THE WYMAN INSTITUTE: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located on the campus of Gratz College (near Philadelphia), is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.
The Institute’s Advisory Committee includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Members of Congress, and other luminaries. Its Academic Council includes more than 50 leading professors of the Holocaust, American history, and Jewish history. The Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, chaired by Cynthia Ozick, includes prominent artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. (For a complete list, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org)
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gary hicks - 8/10/2005
yeah, there were no ( or few anyway)jews in hitler's third reich government.
yeah, black conservatives should not be equated with nazis. ton-ton macoutes maybe, but not nazis.
and --- yeah!!!--- the history of the u.s. and its chattel slavery, extermination of the indians, persecution of all kinds of minorities both european and non-european,major contributions to eugenics and other pseudo-sciences with racial and chauvinist implications-------- if this can't be equated with nazism, then what can? retraction on this one would make it no less true.