Alaska Congressman Don Young (R) offered a theory last month that fewer Jews might have died during the Holocaust if they had only been armed with guns, suggesting that private firearm ownership might have saved millions of lives.
“How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia,” Young said. “How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?”
The recording was provided by Dimitri Shein, an Anchorage Democrat who is running for Young’s seat. Shein was in the audience for Young’s speech to the Alaska Municipal League and he asked Young about school safety, which prompted Young to bring up the Holocaust.
Detractors of such theories increasingly floated by conservatives (Housing Secretary Ben Carson attempted a similar argument in 2015 as a presidential candidate) point to the fact that there were armed Jewish resistances despite laws prohibiting Jews from owning guns.
The Anti-Defamation League says it’s ludicrous to claim Germany’s Jews could have stopped the Third Reich with personal firearms when the military might of entire European countries could not.