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Carson backer suggests Jews deserve partial blame for not stopping Hitler

A conservative columnist who hosted a fundraiser for Ben Carson has an op-ed in Fox News suggesting Jews bore blame for Hitler's rise.

A conservative commentator who once hosted a fundraiser for Dr. Ben Carson argued that Jews bear partial blame for the Holocaust in an op-ed for Fox News defending Carson's recent claims about the role of gun control in Adolf Hitler's rise to power. 

In a piece titled "Why Ben Carson is right about Jews, the Holocaust and guns" posted to Fox News' website, Dr. Keith Ablow argued that German Jews could have stopped Hitler if they armed themselves and accused victims of the Nazi death camps of failing to resist their tormentors. 

"If Jews in Germany had more actively resisted the Nazi party or the Nazi regime and had diagnosed it as a malignant and deadly cancer from the start, there would, indeed, have been a chance for the people of that country and the world to be moved to action by their bold refusal to be enslaved," Ablow wrote.

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He added: "Granted, I was not there. Granted, hindsight is 20/20. But it turns out it was a bad idea for any Jew to have turned over a gun. It was a bad idea for any Jew to have boarded a train. It was a bad idea for any Jew to have passed through a gate into a camp. It was a bad idea for any Jew to do any work at any such camp. It was a bad idea for any Jew to not attempt to crush the skull or scratch out the eyes of any Nazi who turned his back for one moment. And every bullet that would have been fired into a Nazi coming to a doorway to confiscate a gun from a Jew would have been a sacred bullet."

Jewish groups and Holocaust scholars have strongly criticized Carson for suggesting this week that either Jews or Germans could have stopped the Nazi's genocide, which claimed 6 million Jewish lives, if Germany had looser gun laws, an argument that runs up against basic facts about the Holocaust.

German Jews made up just 0.75% of the German population when Hitler came to power in 1933 and the overwhelming majority of Holocaust victims were in Eastern Europe, where the mass killings and death camps were concentrated. Carson did not go nearly as far as Ablow did, however, by suggesting that Jews bore some responsibility for both their own persecution and Hitler's consolidation of power and subsequent invasion of Europe. 

As Ablow noted in his piece, he hosted a fundraiser for Carson in September at his home. Asked about their relationship, Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts described Ablow as  "a valued friend and supporter of the campaign."

"He’s certainly entitled to his opinion," Watts said. "I’ve got no comment on any of the content of his opinion."

Pressed on Ablow's specific claim that Jews passively surrendered guns and could have resisted Hitler more forcefully, Watts clarified that Carson had not suggested Jews were in a position to overthrow Hitler if they had free access to firearms. 

“He’s not suggesting that at all — and did not — any more that he’s suggesting that the people that were shot in Oregon were complicit in their fate," Watts said. "All he was saying in that case was he would have taken action. He’s making a statement about states taking guns, and he used that as one example - he wasn’t suggesting that the Nazi regime could be overthrown, particularly by Jews alone."