‘Trivializing the Holocaust as Dangerous as Denying It:’ Fox News Host Pirro Slammed for ‘Kristallnacht’ Comparison
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro’s comparison on Monday of a political row over the hosting of a social media app with the Nazi regime’s Nov. 9, 1938 nationwide pogrom against Germany’s Jewish community drew a sharp rebuke from a senior US Jewish leader and Holocaust survivor, who warned that “trivializing the Holocaust is as dangerous as denying it.”
Speaking on her Monday morning show, Pirro accused tech giants Google, Apple and Amazon of having suppressed news stories that could have potentially harmed President-elect Joe Biden’s election campaign.
“And now that they’ve won, what we’re seeing is a kind of censorship that is akin to a Kristallnacht, where they decide what we can communicate about,” Pirro declared, referring to the decision of all three platforms to stop hosting Parler, an app that has become increasingly popular with militant supporters of Donald Trump in the wake of Twitter’s permanent ban on the US President.
Pirro’s analogy was condemned by Abraham Foxman — a Holocaust survivor and the national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) who now heads the Center for the Study of Antisemitism at New York City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
“Stay away from the Holocaust, especially if you’re ignorant about it,” Foxman told The Algemeiner on Monday afternoon.
“Kristallnacht was about Jewish lives, not freedom of speech,” Foxman explained. “Trivializing the Holocaust is as dangerous as denying it, and that’s what she was engaged in.”
“Kristallnacht” (Night of the Broken Glass) — the more common term for what historians of the Nazi period call Reichspogromnacht — erupted across Germany, Austria and occupied Czechoslovakia on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, as members of the SA paramilitary and other Nazi thugs rampaged against Jewish-owned business and community institutions.
The Nazi-orchestrated violence took the lives of hundreds of Jews, according to the Holocaust Encyclopedia. More than 250 synagogues were ransacked and destroyed during the pogrom, while up to 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and deported to concentrations camps.
In the aftermath of the pogrom, the Nazis blamed “the Jews” for the material damage caused, imposing a fine of $400 million on the community while confiscating insurance payouts paid to Jews whose businesses and homes were wrecked.
Pirro’s invocation of Kristallnacht came on the day after former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the same pogrom with last Wednesday’s mob riot on Capitol Hill.
While Pirro gave no context or further explanation as to what Kristallnacht had involved, Schwarzenegger explained it as “a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.”
On the 72nd anniversary of Kristallnacht in Nov. 2020, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour faced faced criticism for comparing the the Nazi pogrom with the Trump Administration’s “assault on…fact, knowledge, history and truth.”
Amanpour’s detractors pointed out that she had not explained that the primary target of the pogrom was the German Jewish community. She later apologized for her comment, saying, “I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts. Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history.”
Update at 6.30 pm: Pirro later offered a clarification of her remarks on Twitter, describing the Holocaust as “the greatest hate crime the world ever tolerated.”
Although book burning started earlier, Kristallnacht included the destruction of Jewish stores, homes & synagogues containing rare Jewish books & Torahs. My reference was in context of books.The Holocaust was the greatest hate crime the world ever tolerated. I abhor all violence.
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) January 11, 2021