The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern that a witness at a congressional hearing on a controversial gun bill wrote a book arguing that gun control rendered Jews defenseless during the Holocaust.
Stephen Halbrook, who wrote “Gun Control in the Third Reich” in 2015, is set to appear Tuesday at a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.
The bill would loosen controls on transporting firearms across state lines, an area that Halbrook has litigated as a prominent gun rights attorney.
“We have long been concerned about facile comparisons of gun control legislation in America to policies upheld by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s national director, said in an email to JTA. “The notion that Jews could have saved themselves from the Nazi onslaught is not one of them. It is historically inaccurate and deeply offensive to bring the Holocaust into this debate where it simply does not belong.”
Halbrook’s book argued that a key element in the Nazis’ repressive policies was the disarming of Nazi enemies like Jews. Historians of Nazi Germany have widely discredited the theory as a canard.