The comments earned a swift rebuke from leading Jewish institutions in the United States.

U.S. Jewish groups rebuke Newt Gingrich after comparing FBI to Nazi Gestapo
Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich. (photo credit: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON)


NEW YORK – Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich sparked outrage on Thursday when he compared the American Justice system to the Nazi Gestapo just hours after the end of Israel’s national Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Gingrich, 74, made the comments during an interview with Fox News, taking issue with the FBI’s recent office raid of US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who investigators are reportedly probing in connection to a payment made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.

“It ain’t the rule of law when they kick in your door at three in the morning and you’re faced with armed men,” Gingrich lamented on-air. “And you have had no reason to be told you’re going to have that kind of treatment.”

“That’s Stalin. That’s the Gestapo in Germany. That shouldn’t be the American FBI,” he added.

The comments earned a swift rebuke from leading Jewish institutions in the United States, saying such comparisons diminished the true scope and horror of the brutal actions taken by the secret German police during the Second World War.

“Newt Gingrich’s remarks comparing the Justice Department’s actions in executing a search warrant to ‘the Gestapo in Germany’ are deeply offensive, especially coming on Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we recall the campaign of Nazi atrocities against the Jewish people,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jerusalem Post in a statement.

“There’s simply no comparing the actions of the Gestapo with America’s criminal justice system. This is an inappropriate trivialization of history,” he added.

A request for comment sent to a Gingrich representative by The Jerusalem Post was not immediately returned.

Meanwhile, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Abraham Cooper, told the Post that “Even accounting for concerns over recent actions by the FBI, Speaker Gingrich knows that there is no justification for comparing to murderous Nazi Gestapo, especially while we commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

The Gestapo was first instituted by infamous Nazi senior military officer Hermann Göring in 1933, consolidating various security police agencies of Prussia into one organization.

After becoming nationalized under the auspices of SS leader Heinrich Himmler, the Gestapo played a key part in in the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

The progressive feminist organization Zioness described Gingrich’s statements as “preposterous” and “repugnant,” noting that law-enforcement executed a lawful action after obtaining a warrant from the court.

“A comparison of American law enforcement agents to the Gestapo – Nazi Germany’s genocidal secret police – would be repugnant in any context,” the group’s co-founder Amanda Berman told the Post.

“For Speaker Gingrich to make such a comparison in the context of a raid that was nonviolent and, as far as we know, entirely lawful, is preposterous, and denigrates the memory of the Gestapo’s millions of innocent victims. To do it on Holocaust Remembrance Day is simply unconscionable,” she added.

Earlier Thursday, Jewish US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a stern message to his former Republican colleague, writing in a tweet: “The Gestapo rounded up and helped murder millions of Jews. The FBI did not.  Do not ever ever try to equate the two.”

Gringrich served as the 50th Speaker of the House in US history, serving from 1995 to 1999 while representing Georgia’s 6th congressional district.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post