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April 17, 2020 12:24 pm

Visibly-Emotional Jewish Governor of Colorado Pushes Back Against ‘Gestapo’ Comparison

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Colorado Governor Jared Polis seen on the night of his election, Nov. 6, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Evan Semon.

Colorado’s Jewish governor choked back tears of outrage at a press conference this week as he responded to a Republican lawmaker’s invocation of Nazi Germany’s secret police in claiming that coronavirus restrictions were creating  “Gestapo-like mentality.”

“As a Jewish American who lost family in the Holocaust, I’m offended by any comparison to Nazism,” a visibly-shaken Governor Jared Polis declared. “We act to save lives — the exact opposite of the slaughter of 6 million Jews and many gypsies and Catholics and gays and lesbians and Russians and so many others.”

Polis, a Democrat elected in 2018, is Colorado’s first Jewish governor, and was the first openly-gay man elected governor in any US state.

On March 25 — the same day Polis issued a statewide stay-at-home order that remains in effect through at least April 26 — Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville said on a conservative radio program that such governmental orders lead to a “Gestapo-like mentality.”

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Speaking to the Denver Post on Wednesday, Neville said that while he regretted his choice of words, his underlying criticism remained valid.

“I should have said authoritarian, not Gestapo,” Neville said. “And I think authoritarian is still accurate.”

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