Tony Abbott reaches New Low with “Holocaust” Taunt
Today in Question Time, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott responded to new figures that show Australia’s unemployment rate rising to 6.4 per cent – its highest level in 12 years – with an extraordinary characterisation of employment levels under Labor.
Mr Abbott was met with opposition outrage when he described rising unemployment in the defence industry as a “holocaust of jobs”.
The PM was responding to a question about the latest unemployment figures, including 7.3 per cent in the South Australia where defence industry jobs have traditionally been strong.
“Under members opposite, defence jobs in this country declined by 10 per cent,” Mr Abbott told parliament on Thursday.
“There was a holocaust of jobs in defence industries.”
The holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.”
The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.
During the era of the holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.
Mr Abbott subsequently apologised and withdrew the comment. He replaced the word “holocaust” with “decimation”.