Sean Spicer’s recent press conference in which he states that Hitler never “stooped to the level of using chemical weapons on his own people” has caused mass outrage. Furthermore, instead of referring to the mass killing centers that were the hallmark of the destruction of more than six million European Jews as concentration camps, he erroneously called them “Holocaust Centers.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer then tried to clear up his blunder by stating that what he actually meant was that Hitler did not use chemical weapons or gas on his own people.
Spicer, evidently, failed to consult with a historian before making this statement. After the Nazis took power and before the Holocaust was in full swing, the Nazis experimented on euthanasia on mentally disabled individuals who were institutionalized. This plan, known as the T4, was implemented to help rid Germany of individuals who were a “burden” on society and costing Germany more than they were contributing.
During the T4 plan, many methods of death were experimented with, including rerouting diesel fumes into truck beds with human beings inside of it, putting disabled people in a barn and routing the diesel fuel into it and using the infamous Zyklon B, which would later be used at many of the Nazi concentration camps. All of these individuals were German citizens, and therefore Hitler’s “own people.”
Sean Spicer also neglects that many German Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses and other “undesirables” were killed at the hands of Nazis with diesel fuel, Zyklon B or other deadly chemicals.
Obviously, Sean Spicer’s comments created outrage, especially since he made them on the eve of the beginning of Passover, an important Jewish holiday that celebrates their freedom from slavery in Egypt. In many modern day seders, speaking about the Holocaust is often also included.
Those who were outraged by the remarks include Auschwitz (and other camps) survivor Roman Kent. He decided to go public with a message to Sean Spicer using the news outlet Mic in a video that has since gone viral since its publication earlier today.
Kent was born in Lodz Poland in the 1920s, and he was a young man when he was imprisoned in the Ghetto before being shipped to the Auschwitz Extermination Camp.
He weighed in on Sean Spicer’s comments in the video.
“My reaction to his remark is contrary to what he said. He said, ‘Anybody can make a mistake.’ I agree with that. Anybody can make a mistake. But that’s not a mistake–that’s an ignorance. A complete, total ignorance of the most important issue that prevailed during the last war from which so many millions of people died.
And to have a person ignorant like this at the helm of our government –because press secretary is very important–it’s tragic. It’s not a mistake, it’s a tragedy.”
He then somberly continued reminiscing on one of the worst periods of his life when he was a young man imprisoned in Auschwitz.
“Remember, in Auschwitz alone, 10,000 people were put through crematorium everyday. 10,000 people.”
Kent went on to say that he is not in charge of whether or not Sean Spicer should be fired. However, he did state that as “far as he is concerned,” someone so ignorant should not be representing the United States, which is has come to be his adopted homeland.
Beyond his comments on Sean Spicer, Roman Kent has spoken many times about his experience in the Holocaust. Some of his speeches have been recorded by the World Jewish Congress. His full story was also recorded as part of the USC Shoah Project and is available to watch online. It is posted below for those who wish to hear his testimony.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]