(JTA) — A Cameroon government minister said that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves because they wielded all the economic power.
The African nation’s government disavowed the comments made by Jean de Dieu Momo, the deputy justice minister, in a primetime interview on public television. Momo warned the opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, that he was leading the native Bamileke people to a fate similar to that of the Jews during the Holocaust, the French news service AFP reported.
“In Germany, there was a very rich community who wielded all economic power,” he said. “They [the Jews] were so arrogant that the German people were frustrated. Then one day, a certain Hitler came to power and put them in the gas chambers.”
The government of Cameroon distanced itself from Momo’s comments.
“The Government of the Republic of Cameroon wishes to point out that [Jean De Dieu Momo] was speaking on a strictly personally basis,” Communications Minister Réné Sadi said in a statement, the English-language Journal du Cameroon reported. “The government of Cameroon strongly deplores the irrelevant comments of [Momo] and completely dissociates itself.”