White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer ignited a firestorm of controversy by seemingly questioning whether Hitler used chemical weapons during World War 2. As Spicer was giving a press conference on April 11th and talking about the situation in Syria, he attempted to put the actions of the Syrian President Bashar al–Assad in perspective. Even Hitler, according to Spicer, was not as bad as Assad because he didn’t gas his own people.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. Someone who is despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” said Spicer.
The remarks caused disbelief and condemnation because it’s a well-documented fact that Nazis used gas chambers filled with hydrogen cyanide gas in concentration camps to kill millions of people (mostly Jews), including those who were previously German citizens. They also conducted inhuman research, testing mustard gas on prisoners. And in an ironic detail, Nazis were the ones who actually created the sarin gas that was used by Assad in his recent attack on a village. In fact, Hitler is truly one of the worst ever at using gas, even if he didn’t use it on a battlefield like Saddam Hussein or Assad.
Ashley Parker, the White House reporter for the Washington Post, exemplified the reaction of many in the press room to Spicer’s comments:
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) April 11, 2017
Spicer’s words were not made any better by his subsequent attempts to clarify what he meant.
“He [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing. He brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. But (not) in the way that Bashar al-Assad used them where he went into towns, dropped them down, into the middle of towns,” offered Spicer.
Even though Spicer tried to make a narrow distinction that he was talking about gas that’s dropped from airplanes,…