Qld columnist panned after Nazi analogy

March 21, 2022 by AAP
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The Anti-Defamation Commission has called for an end to careless public Nazi comparisons after a News Corp columnist likened Queensland public servants to German wartime propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Dvir Abramovich – ADC

Peter Gleeson, who’s also a Sky News host, has recently been lambasting Wivenhoe Dam operators over water releases during Brisbane’s floods last month, which are being examined as part of an inquiry.

In a column in the Courier-Mail on Monday, he compared Seqwater operators to World War Two Nazi war criminal Joseph Goebbels

“It was just following the manual, it says. That was German propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ favourite line,” he wrote.

The line featured in both the newspaper’s online and print editions, but it was subsequently deleted from the website version.

Comment has been sought from the Courier-Mail.

Chairman of the ADC Dr Dvir Abramovich said it was odd the “careless and thoughtless remark” made it into print and did not “raise any red flags”.

He said there was no place in the public discourse for Nazi analogies, particularly figures like Joseph Goebbels, who was the Nazi propaganda minister.

Dr Abramovich said Goebbels had led a dehumanisation campaign against the Jews, which led to about six million being murdered, and it was not appropriate to use such figures to criticise people or companies in Australia.

“Nothing in this country comes close to the Final Solution and Hitler’s industrialised machinery of death, and to draw any comparisons to the Holocaust in this context was wrong,” he told AAP in a statement.

“Imagine the pain a survivor who lost their parents and children to the Nazi terror would feel seeing this comparison.

“Such equations trivialise the horror of the Nazi regime’s crimes against humanity and the extermination of six million Jews and millions of others and diminish the proud legacy of our courageous Diggers who sacrificed their lives to van quish the Nazis.

“This misappropriation has to stop. All of it. We trust the author and the editors will ensure that such lapses do not re-occur.”

Water Minister Glenn Butcher, who oversees Seqwater, said Mr Gleeson’s comparison of public servants with Nazi was offensive.

“I am disgusted by what went to print this morning,” he told AAP.

“Seqwater staff worked around-the-clock to keep Queenslanders safe during the flood event, to make sure Wivenhoe was operated exactly how it was designed to and worked exactly how it should.”

Mr Butcher added that Mr Gleeson’s comments had not been made in the public interest.

Comment has also been sought from Seqwater, which is understood to be considering lodging a complaint with the Australian Press Council.


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