After saying on a US chat show that the Holocaust “was not about race,” Whoopi Goldberg has faced outrage.
On ABC’s The View, the actress and television personality stated that the Nazi extermination of Jews featured “two groups of white people.”
Critics pointed out that Hitler had expressed his anti-Semitism in racial terms. She later expressed regret.
The Nazis massacred six million Jews during the Holocaust, believing themselves to be an Aryan “master race.”
The rejection of a graphic novel about Nazi death camps during World War II by a Tennessee school board ignited Monday’s debate.
Maus has received several literary honors for its depiction of Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.
The book’s vulgarity, nudity, and depiction of death, according to the school board, were unacceptable for 13-year-olds.
“I’m amazed that was what made you uncomfortable, the fact that there was some nudity,” Goldberg, a 66-year-old Oscar winner who has been on The View since 2007, told her co-hosts.
“I mean, it’s about the Holocaust, and six million people were killed, but that didn’t disturb you?”
“Let’s be honest about it if you’re going to do this.” Because the Holocaust had nothing to do with race. No, it has nothing to do with race.”
Joy Behar, a co-host, reminded out that the Nazis claimed Jews were of a distinct race.
“But it’s not about race,” Goldberg remarked. It’s not the case. It’s about man’s indifference to his fellow man.”
“But it’s about white supremacy,” co-host Ana Navarro remarked. “It’s about pursuing Jews, Gypsies, and Roma.”
“But,” Goldberg answered, “these are two white groups of individuals.”
Sara Haines, a co-host, said that the Nazis “didn’t regard them as white.”
“But you’re missing the point!” Goldberg continued. It goes down this alley the moment you turn it into a race. Let us discuss it for what it is. It’s about how people interact with one another. It’s an issue.”
As the show’s theme music played to signify an ad break, she gestured to someone behind the camera.
The show has been chastised by critics for promoting harmful misinformation.
“No @WhoopiGoldberg, the #Holocaust was about the Nazis’ methodical destruction of the Jewish people – who they judged to be an inferior race,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish anti-hate watchdog, tweeted.
“They made them dehumanized and utilized racial propaganda to excuse the death of six million Jews. It is harmful to misinterpret the Holocaust.”
“Antisemitism is a cancer and a poison that is increasingly accepted in our society and television – it pervades venues that should shock us all,” Meghan McCain, a former co-host of The View, tweeted.
“Is not their whole existence predicated on one enormous deception, namely, that they are a religious group, but in reality they are a race?” said Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf.
In what was regarded as a subtweet at Goldberg, the US Holocaust Museum wrote: “Nazi ideology was based on racism. Jews were characterized by their race rather than their faith. Genocide and mass murder were fueled by Nazi racial ideas.”
Goldberg eventually apologized in the face of mounting criticism.
“‘The Holocaust is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man,’ I stated on today’s broadcast. It’s about both, I should have stated “In a Twitter post, Goldberg remarked.
“My unwavering support for the Jewish people across the world has never wavered. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you “she said.