The President of the Ohio State Board of Education has come under fire for comparing President Barack Obama’s efforts to enact new gun control restrictions in the United States to Adolph Hitler’s policies leading up to World War II.
Board of Education President Debe Terhar reportedly posted an image of Hitler on her personal Facebook page that read, “Never forget what this tyrant said: ‘To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.’ — Adolf Hitler.”
Terhar, a Cincinnati Republican, insists she was not comparing Obama to Hitler and told The Columbus Dispatch that people who know her understand she was describing the “need to step back and think about it and look at history.”
While Hitler has referenced disarming the “subject races,” the direct quote Terhar posted is historically unverifiable.
“I’m not comparing the president to Adolf Hitler,” Terhar said. “It’s the thought of disarming citizens, and this has happened throughout history. What’s the true intention of the Second Amendment? It was to protect us from a tyrannical government, God forbid.”
The Anti Defamation League condemned the remarks, urging Terhar to immediately retract the comparison and apologize.
"Whatever one's position on the gun control issue, analogies – whether direct or implied -- to Hitler and the Holocaust have absolutely no place in the debate over gun control," said Martin H. Belsky, ADL Cleveland Board Chair, and Nina Sundell, ADL Regional Director. "While one can disagree with the Obama Administration's position on gun control, comparisons of his proposals to Hitler's trivialize the memory of the six million Jews and the millions of other who perished in the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Holocaust survivors.
"Clearly Ms. Terhar needs an education about the history of the Holocaust," added Belsky and Sundell. "As a public figure she should know better. We hope that Ms. Terhar will retract the comparison and apologize. She should make clear that Holocaust comparisons are inappropriate and a terrible distortion of the history of World War II."