British environmental activist causes rift in international movement with remarks minimizing the Holocaust
One of the founders of the influential environmental movement "Extinction Rebellion" gave an interview to the German newspaper Die Zeit recently in which he said "you might say [genocide] is like a regular event" in historical terms and called the Holocaust "just another fuckery in human history". The "fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history", the 53-year-old was quoted as saying in the interview.
As an example, Hallam mentioned the massacres that Belgians committed in the Congo during the 19th century. Genocides, in his view, have been "like a regular event" during the past 500 years of human history, and in from that perspective he said the Holocaust - the murder of six million European Jews - was "just another fuckery in human history".
In Germany, Hallam has been sharply criticized for his statement. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed outrage at the remarks.
"The Holocaust was something more than just the death of millions of people and cruel methods of torture. To want to murder Jewish men and women and to annihilate them on an industrial scale is inhuman in a unique way," the German Foreign Minister tweeted, adding that people must be made aware of how unique the Holocaust was so that they will never repeat it.
The Ullstein Verlag publishing house has announced it will no longer be delivering Hallam's book to retailers in Germany as a result of his remarks. The book, entitled "Common Sense for the 21st Century: Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse", was meant to go on sale in Germany this week.
The German branch of "Extinction Rebellion" has now distanced itself from Hallam, saying he has "minimized and relativized the Holocaust". Their statement says the British activist is no longer welcome among German members of the international movement.
The environmental movement "Extinction Rebellion" originated in Britain last year and its protests calling for climate protection have spread around the world. Hallam is an organic food producer and sociologist who was involved in the birth of the movement along with several other people and is its most famous representative.
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