ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said the comparison trivializes the Holocaust
Joan Rivers went a step too far by comparing Costco's decision not to sell her new book to the Nazis, the Anti-Defamation League charged Friday.
The comedian has been saying in interviews that the chain has refused to carry her new book, "I Hate Everything … Starting with Me," because the back cover contains swear words.
On Thursday, she upped the ante.
In an interview, she told KTLA that “People should have the right to have the literature they want. This is the beginning of Nazi Germany.”
Riled by the comment, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, himself a survivor of the Holocaust, charged on Friday that the comedian is being insensitive to the victims of the Nazi regime.
“While Joan Rivers may be right in criticizing Costco’s decision, there is simply no comparison between a private company’s choice not to sell a book and the policies of the Nazi regime that engaged in the systematic persecution and slaughter of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust," Foxman said in a statement.
“Such comparisons only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.”
In a letter to Rivers, the ADL called on the comedian to retract her remarks and refrain from using Holocaust imagery in the future.
A spokeswoman for Rivers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Rivers created a scene at a Costco in Burbank on Thursday after she chained herself to a shopping cart and used a bullhorn to protest the retailer's ban. She agreed to leave when police arrived.