LOOK BACK: Hitler and the Holocaust

Katerina Francisco

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LOOK BACK: Hitler and the Holocaust
President Rodrigo Duterte sparks outrage after he drew parallels between the Holocaust and his own bloody war on drugs

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was once again on the receiving end of international criticism after he drew parallels between his bloody war against drugs and the extermination of millions of Jews during World War II.

In a speech after his two-day visit to Vietnam, Duterte commented that he was being “portrayed as a cousin” of Adolf Hitler, the infamous leader of Nazi Germany responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews. 

Drawing parallels to Hitler’s act, Duterte then said that he would be “happy to slaughter” the 3 million drug addicts in the Philippines, although the Dangerous Drugs Board pegs the number at 1.8 million.  

His remarks drew condemnation from various groups – from the Human Rights Watch to the Pentagon chief and the German government. Jewish leaders have also condemned Duterte’s remark, saying Holocaust victims deserved an apology from the Philippine president. 

On social media, netizens also condemned a tweet by journalist and former Makati representative Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr, who had been appointed as the Philippines’ permanent representative to the United Nations.

In a post last August 25, Locsin wrote: “You may find this hard to believe but the Nazis were not all wrong, give or take killing millions of the wrong people. Keep an open mind.”

Asked by one netizen if he was defending Hitler, Locsin said no, but added that there were “some things [Hitler] did right.”

In subsequent replies to the tweet, Locsin cited Hitler’s “policies in reviving Germany’s economy and military.” 

“They are paying off even now in German primacy in Europe,” he added.

Locsin, however, conceded that Hitler’s extermination of the Jews “wiped out his economic contribution.”


Hitler and the Holocaust

Hitler is remembered now as a brutal tyrant under whose leadership the Nazis carried out the mass extermination of Jews in Europe during World War II. Six million Jews were killed in the attempt to “purify” the German race by eliminating all non-Aryans.

The Jews were dubbed subversive and responsible for Germany’s problems at the time. Hitler’s Nazi party won support and popularity in the wake of the German people’s suffering from the first world war and economic depression. He initiated public works programs, including the autobahns – Germany’s highway system – and promised employment, all with the goal to make Germany self-sufficient. 

From 1933 onwards, the Nazis began imposing laws to segregate the “undesirables,” prohibiting Jews from acquiring citizenship and marriage or relations with Germans. Hitler had earlier vocalized this vision of a superior white Aryan race and the elimination of “impure” races in his book, Mein Kampf, published in July 1925. It also described the dictatorial authoritarianism that would come to define Germany under the control of the Nazis.

Hitler’s political vision also included territorial expansion outside Germany’s borders, and it was Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 that triggered World War II.

During this horrific period in world history, millions of Jews were brutally killed, gassed to death in concentration camps or dying due to disease, starvation, and forced labor – a genocide now known as the Holocaust.  Rappler.com

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