During U.S. Rep. Don Young’s recent speaking engagement with the Alaska Municipal League, he used the Holocaust as an example of what happens when a population of people do not have access to firearms. The atrocities committed during the Holocaust were not the result of the Jewish population not having guns. To suggest any correlation between the two is to ignore history.
Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933. His Third Reich was methodical in their attempts to isolate and eliminate the Jewish population which at the time comprised about 1.7 percent of the entire population of Europe. After segregating all the Jews, removing their access to financial support, denying them the ability to make a living, confiscating all property, closing any and all escape routes, poisoning the non Jewish population through propaganda against the Jews and severely punishing anyone who provided any type of support to any Jewish person, the stage was set. Hitler’s “final solution” was underway.
By 1943 Germany and its Axis partners had conquered, occupied or annexed most of Europe. The armies and governments of numerous countries throughout Europe including France, Poland and Belgium fell under the annihilating onslaught of the Third Reich. During their murderous rampage the Reich was successful in slaughtering two out of every three European Jews. Along with the 6 million Jewish deaths were another 5 million human beings the Reich felt did not fit the Aryan ideal. These staggering figures do not include the thousands of babies, infants and children that were murdered before their births could be recorded or were left dying on the streets.
It is preposterous to assume that guns would have allowed the Jewish population, or any of the other murdered individuals of any of these countries to mount a successful defense against the existing police states or the German army.
To use the Holocaust in any part of the debate on gun control is monumentally disrespectful to the millions who lost their lives. It perpetuates the myth that Jewish residents could have withstood the onslaught of the German Reich.
And for those around the world who mourn the loss of loved ones, it trivializes the horrendous reality of what happened.