Former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker has waded into the gun control debate, claiming that German Jews could have prevented the Holocaust if they had owned firearms.
Rocker, who made his final MLB appearance in May 2003, now writes a regular column for conservative site World Net Daily. In his latest piece, to the surprise of nobody, the former major-league closer lays into gun control advocates and compares Barack Obama to dictators such as Stalin, Mao, and Hitler.
In slightly more startling comments, Rocker then goes on to argue that the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered, could have ended differently:
“Mr. Obama wants to severely neuter the Second Amendment and disarm the law-abiding citizens of this nation, a similar act of tyrants throughout the 20th century such as Stalin, Mao and Hitler. Absolute certainties are a rare thing in this life, but one I think can be collectively agreed upon is the undeniable fact that the Holocaust would have never taken place had the Jewish citizenry of Hitler’s Germany had the right to bear arms and defended themselves with those arms.”
Rocker’s view that German Jews could have prevented the Holocaust (if armed) was preemptively ridiculed late last week in a Salon editorial entitled “The Hitler gun control lie“. Contributing to the piece, Brown University historian and Third Reich specialist Omer Bartov argues Germany’s Jewish population would have had little success at fighting back, even if they had been armed:
“Just imagine the Jews of Germany exercising the right to bear arms and fighting the SA, SS and the Wehrmacht. The [Russian] Red Army lost 7 million men fighting the Wehrmacht, despite its tanks and planes and artillery. The Jews with pistols and shotguns would have done better?”
Many who share Rocker’s view point to the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as evidence that Jews who kept firearms were successful in resisting the Nazi genocide. However, Michael Moynihan at Tablet argues:
“Only around 20 Germans were killed during the Warsaw Uprising, while approximately 13,000 Jews were killed in the ghetto, and the 50,000 surviving captives were quickly deported to concentration camps.”
Let us know what you make of Rocker’s arguments in the comments.