CNN’s Amanpour bows to critics, apologizes for Trump-Nazi comparison

The veteran anchorwoman admits the juxtaposition was a mistake, as “Hitler and his evils stand alone in history.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

After a huge outcry from Israel, officials in the American administration, and Jewish groups, CNN host Christiane Amanpour apologized Monday for comparing President Donald Trump’s statements and actions to the Nazis last week.

“I observed the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, as I often do,” Amanpour said at the close of her daily show regarding Thursday’s remarks. “It is the event that began the horrors of the Holocaust. I also noted President Trump’s attacks on history, facts, knowledge, and truth. I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts. Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history. I regret any pain my statement may have caused.”

“My point was to say how democracy can potentially slip away, and how we must always zealously guard our democratic values,” she added.

Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, was the Nazis’ pre-planned, coordinated attack on Jewish German businesses, homes and schools on November 9-10, 1938. Hundreds of synagogues were torched and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Although reports about Kristallnacht were reported extensively outside of Germany, political reaction to the event by world leaders ranged from muted to non-existent. This emboldened Hitler to embark on the mass extermination of six million Jews that became known as the Holocaust, or Shoah in Hebrew.

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Amanpour referenced the fact that the Nazis had thrown thousands of books that they deemed offensive to their ideology into bonfires that night.

“It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity, and in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and truth,” she said.

“After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to norms, including the truth.”

Reaction from the White House was swift, as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that the CNN anchor’s comments were “despicable” and that she “must apologize for trivializing the Holocaust and the tragic genocide of millions of Jews.”

In an open letter to CNN, Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich echoed the demand for a public apology for “the false equivalence made between the actions of a sitting U.S. president and the atrocities of the Kristallnacht pogroms.”

Saying that the veteran journalist’s statement “belittle[ed] the immense tragedy of the Holocaust,” Yankelevich accused Amanpour of committing “a deeply troubling and offensive spin of historic and moral truths” in order to “further a political agenda.”

The Anti-Defamation League joined many other Jewish groups in condemning Amanpour, stating on Twitter that “there’s no analogue between the Holocaust and what’s taking place in the U.S. Pundits & politicians should avoid such facile comparisons. They are offensive & insensitive to the memory of the #Shoah.”