This photo shows US Representative Don Young talking to a reporter after a debate in Anchorage, Alaska on October 17, 2016 ( Photo: Mark Thiessen, AP)
Rep. Don Young, Congressman Alaska, known for making controversial statements, seemed to suspect that Jews died in the Holocaust because they were unarmed.
The Republican MP said during a conference in his home state, "How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed – fifty million in Russia because their citizens were unarmed."
He continued, "How many Jews were put into the stoves because they were unarmed? "
Alaska Public Radio, Young's quote came after Dimitri Shein, a Democrat candidate for Young's Congressional headquarters, had asked about the safety of the school , Shein did not immediately return a request for a comment.
Young spokeswoman Murphy McCollough said Young's comment has been taken out of context.
"He pointed out that when Hitler confiscated firearms from Jewish Germans, these communities were less able to defend themselves," McCollough said in an e-mail. "He did not hint that an armed Jewish population would have been able to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust, but its intended message is that disarming citizens can have harmful consequences."
Young – who has been a Congress since 1973 and is the senior member of the current Congress – has a reputation for making controversial comments. Last year, he had to apologize for calling in the fifties another lawmaker as a "young lady" who did not know what she was talking about. In 2014, he apologized that suicide showed that he was not supported by friends and family. And in 2013, he apologized after calling Hispanic guest workers "wetbacks"
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