Government & Politics

Rabbis demand congressional candidate stop using Holocaust ‘for political purposes’

Steve Fitzgerald
Steve Fitzgerald

A group of rabbis is demanding that a conservative Republican state senator and candidate for Congress stop invoking the Holocaust "for political purposes."

In a letter, the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City has asked to Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, R-Leavenworth, to stop drawing comparisons between abortion and the Holocaust.

“Senator, your words abuse the memory of the murdered victims of the Nazi regime by using their deaths as a political weapon in our national debate,” the letter says.

Fitzgerald, who is running to become the Republican nominee in Kansas’ 2nd District, has gained national attention for bringing Nazis into the abortion debate.

Fitzgerald said during an interview Thursday that he would take the rabbis' letter "into consideration and under advisement," and appreciated their sharing their opinion.

He would not commit to stop referencing Nazis and the Holocaust in the abortion debate.

"I don't think anybody should accept arbitrary limits placed upon the exercise of their freedoms," he said.

Last year, Fitzgerald compared Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp after he was told that a donation to the organization had been made in his name.

Fitzgerald once again evoked Nazi Germany on the Senate floor last month when he brought up Josef Mengele, an infamous doctor at Auschwitz, during a debate over an amendment on aborted fetal tissue.

In their letter, the rabbis say the practice of abortion and the Holocaust are different issues.

“We demand that you cease immediately making these offensive and divisive comparisons to the Holocaust for political purposes, and to find different language to discuss abortion, out of respect for the millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust,” the letter says.