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European Parliament candidate quits race over EU-Nazi Germany comparison

(JTA) — An Austrian candidate for the European Parliament withdrew from the race over remarks in which he called Nazi Germany more liberal than the European Union.

Andreas Moelzer of the far-right Freedom Party said he quit the race on Tuesday because his party had lost confidence in him, Reuters reported.

Oskar Deutsch, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Austria, had called on Moelzer to drop out after the remarks came to light.

Moelzer was quoted by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper as saying that the Third Reich “certainly did not have as many rules and regulations, commandments and bans” as the European Union and looks more “informal and liberal” by comparison, according to Reuters.

In a statement later, Moelzer condemned the Hitler regime and said he was not trying to minimize Nazi atrocities.

The election for the European Parliament is scheduled for May; the Freedom Party is expected to make a good showing.

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