Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has apologized for her “offensive” comments linking COVID-19 prevention measures to the horrors of the Holocaust.
Following a visit Monday to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the representative from northwest Georgia’s 14th district recalled advice from her late father.
“One of the best lessons that my father always taught me was, when you make a mistake, you should own it,” she said, talking to reporters outside the Capitol. “So I should own it. I made a mistake.”
Greene said, “The Holocaust is — there’s nothing comparable to it. It’s — it happened, and, you know, over 6 million Jewish people were murdered. More than that, there were not just Jewish people — Black people, Christians, all kinds of groups. Children. People that the Nazis didn’t believe were good enough or perfect enough.”
About her controversial comments, Greene said, “But there is no comparison to the Holocaust. And there are words that I have said, remarks that I have made, that I know are offensive, and for that, I want to apologize.”
Greene came under fire twice in May for twice likening aspects of the COVID-19 response to the cruelty of the Nazis’ “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”
Those comments met with widespread rebuke, including from the Republican House leadership, Republicans and Democrats in the House, the Republican Jewish Coalition, a USHMM board member, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum.
The first controversial comment came May 21 during an interview on “The Water Cooler with David Brody” a podcast presented by Real America’s Voice. Greene compared a requirement, instituted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that masks be worn on the House floor to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. “You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany, and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about,” Greene said.
Greene’s second attention-grabbing remark came in a May 25 Twitter post about a logo that a Knoxville, Tenn., supermarket added to the badges of vaccinated employees. “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s [sic] forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” she wrote.
Between 1939 and 1945, various entities under Nazi control required Jews to wear a Star of David emblem on their clothing, the most prominent example being a yellow star bearing the word “Jude,” German for Jew. According to the USHMM website, the stars were “a key element of their larger plan to persecute and eventually to annihilate the Jewish population of Europe. They used the badge not only to stigmatize and humiliate Jews but also to segregate them, to watch and control their movements, and to prepare for deportation.”
In a May 25 statement, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California said, “Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling. At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust. Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”
A particularly blunt response to Greene was posted on Twitter by Jeff Miller, a board member of both USHMM and the RJC. Miller, who has been a political advisor to McCarthy and a Republican Party fundraiser, is the founder and CEO of a political consulting firm, and the principal of a global tax services firm.
“WTF is wrong with you?” Miller asked in his post, which continued: “I think you need to pay a visit to the US Holocaust Museum.I’d be happy to arrange.Then maybe going forward you wouldn’t make anymore disgusting, ignorant and offensive tweets.If I’m wrong and you’re not ignorant about Holocaust..then you are disgusting.”
Greene was reproached similarly by RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks. “Please educate yourself so that you can realize how absolutely wrong and inappropriate it is to compare proof of vaccination with the 6 million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis. You’re an embarrassment to yourself and the GOP,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. The RJC endorsed her August 2020 Republican runoff opponent and did not endorse her as the Republican candidate in November’s general election.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum, which maintains the site of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp in southern Poland, also responded on Twitter: “The instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, isolated in ghettos & murdered during the Holocaust, in a debate on different systems that aim at protecting public health is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”
On Monday, however, Greene did not walk back previous comments comparing the Democratic Party to the National Socialist Party.
“You know the Nazis were the National Sociality Party. Just like the Democrats are now a national socialist party,” Greene told an America First rally May 27 in Dalton, Ga.
Illinois Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider planned Wednesday to introduce a resolution to censure Greene because of her Holocaust comparison.
On Feb 4, the Democrat-controlled House stripped Greene of her committee assignments following a series of incendiary comments.
- Dave Schechter
- Marjorie Taylor Greene
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum
- Republican Jewish Coalition
- Nancy Pelosi
- “The Water Cooler with David Brody”
- Star of David
- Kevin McCarthy
- Republican Party
- Democratic Party
- Jeff Miller
- RJC. Miller
- Matt Brooks
- National Sociality Party
- Brad Schneider