The Anne Frank Center Responds To Spicer's Controversy

by Noor Al-Sibai
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

UPDATE: Spicer apologized for his controversial Holocaust comments on Tuesday afternoon and said he "mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust". He also called the comments a comparison between Hitler and Assad "a mistake".

EARLIER: In a recent statement, the Anne Frank Center called for Sean Spicer to be fired from his post as White House press secretary for his false assertion that Adolf Hitler "didn't sink to using chemical weapons." Their response is one of many in the controversy over Spicer's claims from the White House press room that compared Bashar al-Assad to Hitler.

In the statement, Anne Frank Center Executive Director Steven Goldstein said that Spicer "engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying that Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death." He also implied that the comment's timing during the major Jewish holiday of Passover made them all the more offensive, and said that Spicer "lacks the integrity" to continue to serve as press secretary.

Spicer's claim came as a justification for the White House's about-face on the Assad regime in the wake of last week's chemical attacks in the rebel-held Idlib Province, and as a means of criticizing Russia for its continued support of Assad. The White House also accused Russia of colluding with Assad to cover up the attacks. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment regarding Spicer's statements.

The transcript of Spicer's Holocaust comments makes the Anne Frank Center's response seem justified:

We didn't use chemical weapons in WWII. We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons. You have to —if you're Russia — ask yourself: Is this a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with?

Reporters in the press room were quick to ask Spicer to clarify. Spicer responded by saying that Hitler "brought them into the Holocaust center" (seemingly referring to the Jews and others who were killed in concentration camps), but implied that Assad's actions were somehow different because "dropped them into the middle of towns."

The Anne Frank Center wasn't alone in condemning Spicer for his comments and calling for him to be fired. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also insisted on Spicer's firing, and like the AFC, implied that the comments were particularly offensive because he made them during Passover.

More to come ...