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Embattled Canadian Annoys Jews by Likening Plight to Nazi Days

March 29, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Provincial Premier William Vander Zalm, under investigation for alleged misdeeds in office, has irked local Jewish groups by comparing his situation to living in Nazi Germany.

Vander Zalm, who was born in Holland and lived through the Nazi occupation, said, “This is all very reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”

“Statements like those of Premier Vander Zalm trivialize life under the Nazi occupation,” declared a spokesman for the Canadian Jewish Congress Pacific Region.

“It’s an exaggeration that is perplexing to survivors, ex-servicepeople and to the Jewish community,” he added.

Holocaust survivor Rudolph Vrba said, “As a survivor, I am not offended, but as a Canadian I am.”

The former Auschwitz internee said he did not know whether the British Columbia premier was guilty or not.

“That’s for the courts to decide. But no one here has confiscated his property, nor clubbed him to death, nor sent him and his family to a concentration camp,” Vrba said.

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