Joan Rivers caused a furor the other day when she said on Fashion Police “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.” It was bad enough that would even use a joke about the holocaust, but refusing to apologize makes it even worse. She said that her husband lost his family in the holocaust, and thinks that gives her the right to crack jokes about the holocaust.
Jokes and holocaust don’t belong in the same sentence. Even if Rivers thinks it is alright to mention the holocaust in a joke it doesn’t mean Jewish people all over the world think the same way. Too many Jewish people lived in fear in basements and attics knowing that they could be found and taken on trains to Nazi death camps, for the holocaust to ever be mentioned in a joke.
The war in Germany may have ended 68 years ago this spring, but the Jewish people who were fortunate enough to escape Germany or avoid capture will never think of the holocaust as a source for humor. I still think Rivers owes an apology, but she will probably continue to think it is alright to crack jokes about the holocaust, since she seems to think she has the right to make light,of one of the most horrific times in the history of the world.
How can anyone find anything humorous about 6 million Jews being put to death? Adolf Hitler may not have killed any of these Jews personally, but he was the one ordering all Jews to be murdered. The despotic dictator was the one orchestrating the systematic killing of the Jews.
Ruth Westheimer couldn’t have found much humor in River’s holocaust joke, since both of her parents were murdered in a Nazi death camp. Robert Clary who is now 87 appeared on Hogan’s Heroes, Days of Our Lives and other soap operas was captured by the Nazis in 1942 and he was liberated at Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. He too couldn’t have been amused by the so-called joke of Rivers.
It is tough enough trying to get people to remember the holocaust, without comedians like Rivers thinking it is a great source for jokes. Anti-Defamation League had every right to protest her holocaust joke. It is sad that Rivers doesn’t think her joke is worthy of an apology.