AP NEWS

Former candidate for CT governor compares Green New Deal to Holocaust

February 26, 2019

Former candidate for governor Peter Lumaj defended a meme he posted on Facebook that draws comparisons to tactics used by WWII-era Nazis and those of modern day progressive democrats.

The black-and-white photo shows a group of Jews being herded onto a cattle car, the manner in which Nazis transported whole populations to death camps during the Holocaust.

A caption reads, “Socialists want to disarm us and make us use trains. No thanks, I’ve seen where that leads, I’ll keep my car and guns.”

The Anti-Defamation League called the post “inappropriate and offensive.”

Lumaj, who ran for Connecticut governor in 2018 but lost in the Republican primary to Bob Stefanowski, said he’s not comparing democrats to Nazis, but the direction progressive liberal lawmakers want to take the country.

He specifically mentioned proposals to limit access to guns and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s so-called “Green New Deal,” which encourages the use of mass transit.

“She’s using the same strategy that East European socialists used,” Lumaj said of Ocasio-Cortez. “That should be something that concerns every American.”

“The last time people were told to give up their guns and get on trains it didn’t turn out well,” he said.

Connecticut Anti-Defamation League Associate Director Andy Friedland said the Holocaust has no place in the gun debate, and pointed to a log post written by National Director Jonathan Greenblatt.

“When you manipulate the history of the Holocaust and use it to score political points, it’s wholly inappropriate and offensive,” that post reads. “Especially for the sake of the victims of the Nazi onslaught and their memory, it must stop.”

Lumaj, an Albanian immigrant, said he has personal experience on the subject. Members of his own family were sent to concentration camps, he said, when the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania was formed.

One of the first steps, according to Lumaj, was to limit the public’s access to weapons.

“I can draw from my own experience here,” he said. “When Communism came to Albania they did pretty much the same thing.”

Lumaj said Nazism is just one example of the ills of socialism, and that there is “Nothing wrong with using historical facts” to warn about the future.

“What the liberals and socialists are doing, they are using their own liberal views to promote social justice,” he said.

Lumaj, who lives in Fairfield, ran for governor in 2018, secretary of the state in 2014 and senate in 2012.