A prominent multimillionaire has been slammed by Holocaust survivors after he appeared to compare former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard to the Nazi doctor who tortured Jews.
Simon Holmes à Court, who is funding the so-called ‘Teal’ independents challenging moderate Liberals in wealthy Sydney and Melbourne seats tweeted on Wednesday: ‘@LiberalAus’s ‘angel of death’ — John Howard — is expected at #KooyongVotes prepoll any moment.’
‘Angel of Death’ was the nickname given to Josef Mengele, who performed deadly experiments on prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
A survivor of Mengele’s monstrous experiments is still alive in Melbourne.
A Jewish woman in Sydney called Ziva, whose grandparents were murdered by the Nazis, said ‘God forgive them for what they have stooped to,’ in reference to Mr Holmes à Court.
John Howard (pictured) has been compared to a Nazi doctor who tortured Jews with grotesque experiments by a multimillionaire greenie activist
The tweet (pictured) by greenie activist Simon Holmes à Court comparing John Howard to a Nazi doctor
Mr Holmes à Court is financing the so-called ‘teal independent’ candidates hoping to win seats off Liberal incumbents.
Ray Hadley on radio station 2GB called out the Climate 200 founder for his comment.
‘I know there’s a lot of dirty things being said in the election but I think I’ve just found the dirtiest.
‘[Simon Holmes à Court,] you are an absolute disgrace,’ Hadley said.
A listener to his show, Ziva, who was born in Poland and lived in Israel before coming to Australia, phoned in to express her horror at Mr Holmes à Court’s tweet.
‘I want to explain … what (Mr Holmes à Court) said from a point of view of a woman who has spent many years in Australia,’ she said.
‘Josef Mengele was one of the worst of the worst during the war. I have never had grandparents on my mother’s side or on my father’s side.
‘The only thing I know is that my mother’s parents were one of the first couples to be walked to the gas chamber,’ said Ziva, who is a grandmother of seven.
‘There are Jewish people, I promise you, that are crying today in their homes,’ she said, adding that people need to understand what Mengele did.
Ziva then commented on the battle for the seat of Wentworth in eastern Sydney, where Liberal incumbent Dave Sharma is facing a strong challenge from Teal independent Allegra Spender.
Nazi doctor Josef Mengele (pictured) performed deadly experiments on prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II
‘There is a young woman (Ms Spender) that wants to get rid of the person who has been very good for Wentworth, and bring (in) a woman who has been backed up by this man (Mr Holmes à Court), she said.
Wentworth has the highest Jewish population of any constituency in NSW, and is one of the highest nationally.
Ziva then spoke about the horrors of what Mengele did.
‘He will never be forgiven, because there are people today that lost twin brothers and twin sisters, because he experimented on twins. He experimented on babies.
‘For (Mr Holmes à Court) to compare (Mengele) to Mr Howard… we are today in a good position because of people like Mr Howard, because of people like our current Prime Minister.’
Climate 200 founder Simon Holmes à Court (pictured) is under fire for comparing John Howard to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele
Ziva was so shocked by Mr Holmes à Court’s tweet, she said ‘God forgive them for what they have stooped to.’
She said Mr Holmes à Court had ‘brought up something that will destroy (people) for the whole day’.
‘I cannot believe … Holmes à Court … could bring himself to say that. I just can’t comprehend it.’
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, was also shocked by Mr Holmes à Court’s tweet, saying he had ‘crossed several red lines’.
‘To compare John Howard to a monster such as Josef Mengele, who performed sadistic and often deadly experiments on concentration camp inmates, including on children, is beyond offensive and beyond hurtful,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Who is Simon Holmes à Court?
Simon Holmes à Court is a senior advisor to the Climate and Energy College at Melbourne University and director of the Smart Energy Council.
He was the founding chairman of Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, Hepburn Wind, and is one of four children of Robert Holmes à Court and his wife Janet.
Robert was born in Johannesburg in 1937 and moved to Perth to study law in 1961.
After working as barrister and solicitor, he built a business empire made up of companies in the resources, transport, media and beverage industries.
He died of a heart attack aged 53 in 1990, leaving his fortune to wife Janet and his children.
Robert’s eldest son Peter Holmes à Court is a multimillionaire entrepreneur who once owned the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team with Russell Crowe.
‘In fact, the oldest living Mengele twin who lives in Melbourne is a dear friend of mine and she would too be aghast.’
Dr Dvir Abramovich said that Mr Holmes à Court is ‘with this thoughtless remark … has not only coarsened an important debate that demands civility but has done a great disservice to the memory of the millions of Jews and others that were murdered by the Nazis’.
‘Nothing comes close to the scale of the deliberate, industrialised liquidation perpetrated by the Third Reich, and this tweet is just the latest example of a worrying trend of people easily ransacking the Nazi playbook,’ he said.
‘I hope that Simon Holmes à Court apologies for this lapse in judgment and refrains from employing such trivialisations in the future.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Holmes à Court seeking comment for this story.
Who was Josef Mengele?
Josef Mengele was born on March 16, 1911, in Günzburg, near Ulm, Germany.
He joined the Nazi Party in 1937. He received his medical degree in 1938, the same year he joined the SS.
At the Auschwitz concentration camp, he and other medical staff performed ‘selections’ of arriving prisoners.
These selections determined who would be retained for work and who would perish immediately in the gas chambers.
Mengele is known as the ‘Angel of Death’ for his coldly cruel demeanour in making selections.
With full license to maim or kill his subjects, Mengele performed a broad range of agonising and often lethal experiments with Jewish and Roma gypsy twins, most of them children.
Mengele firmly endorsed Nazi racial theory and engaged in a wide spectrum of experiments which aimed to illustrate the lack of resistance among Jews or Roma to various diseases.
Source: Holocaust Encyclopedia