With his calls to make “America First,” demand for a ‘Muslim ban,’ and attacks on Mexican immigrants, Donald Trump has inspired an endless number of Nazi comparisons in the run-up to the election. Add Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd bassist, to the list of those who think the Republican nominee’s speeches could be translated from the original Nazi German.
“The method for taking over the state and for it becoming a totalitarian police state is always the same and it’s always the identification of ‘the other’ as the enemy,” Waters told Marc Maron, on the comedian’s “WTF” podcast this Monday.
“In Trump’s case, it’s the Chinese, the Mexicans and Islam – it doesn’t matter who it is. With Hitler, it was the Jews and the Communists and the Gypsies, anybody who had a physical deformity, or whatever it might be, the homosexuals – they were all lumped together,” he added.
Waters has been outspoken on political issues over his career, taking a decidedly left outlook on current events.
He’s also used the Nazi comparison in the past on Israel, in statements that have earned him accusations of anti-Semitism.
“The parallels with what went on in the 1930s in Germany are so crushingly obvious,” he said three years ago, describing the situation in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians.
“There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian people being murdered,” he continued.
Those statements drew fierce rebukes from Jewish organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Americans for Peace Now and the Holocaust Education Trust.
“Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to advocate passionately for a cause, but drawing inappropriate parallels with the Holocaust insults the memory of the six million Jews – men, women and children – murdered by the Nazis. These kinds of attacks are commonly used as veiled antisemitism and should be exposed as such,” wrote Karen Pollock, head of the Holocaust Education Trust, in comments to The Guardian at the time.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.