In a powerful statement issued by an array of Holocaust institutions, scholars and educators from around the world, an alarm is being sounded on the rise of groups that promote intolerance and hate speech. These 90 institutions and 71 individuals call on lawmakers to condemn white nationalist groups and ask citizens to be vigilant.
The board of directors of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education strongly condemns recent statements by Kansas Senator Steve Fitzgerald who alleges that Planned Parenthood is “more insidious than [the Nazis]” and that “the Nazis ought to be incensed by the comparison.” Having been notified of a donation made in his honor to Great Plains Planned Parenthood, Fitzgerald, a strong opponent of abortion rights, wrote that being associated with Planned Parenthood “is as bad, or worse, as having one’s name associated with Dachau.”
In fact, we are incensed by the senator’s appalling and ill-informed comparisons that trivialize and misappropriate the memory of the Holocaust. While we respect his right to express personal opinions regarding abortion, it is unconscionable and misguided to equate abortion and genocide. In doing so, he distorts history and offends those victimized by the Nazis. In their names, we call upon all caring Kansans to inform Senator Fitzgerald that his remarks are an embarrassment to our state and do not reflect the views of the majority of his constituents. Please contact the senator at email@example.com or leave a message at 785-296-7357.
Board President, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Overland Park, KS
This statement is also endorsed by the following members of the Kansas Holocaust Commission:
Katherine Kline Berkowitz
Barry S. Crawford, Professor of Religious Studies, Washburn University
Loraine H. Lindenbaum
Rabbi Herbert J. Mandl, Ph.D
Rabbi Debbie Stiel, Temple Beth Sholom, Topeka, KS
Erica Fox Zabusky