'1%' Venture Capitalist Sorry for Nazi Comparison

Compared Occupy Wall Street to Nazi Kristallnacht


By JTA

Published January 28, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins apologized on International Holocaust Remembrance Day for comparing attacks on the top 1 percent of wealthy Americans to Kristallnacht.

Perkins, 82, a founder of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, made the apology Monday evening in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

“I deeply apologize to you and anyone who has mistaken my reference to Kristallnacht as a sign of overt or latent anti-Semitism,” he said in an interview Monday on Bloomberg Television. “This is not the case.”

In a letter published over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, Perkins wrote: “I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’

He ended the letter, saying: “This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

Perkins told Bloomberg that the letter was: “a terrible misjudgment.” He said he has written a letter of apology to the Anti-Defamation League. But, he added, “I do not regret the message at all. Any time the majority starts to demonize any minority, no matter what it is, it is wrong and dangerous.”

His former firm said in a tweet: “Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.