The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has castigated comedienne Joan Rivers, whose husband’s family lost many family members in the Holocaust, for a “vulgar and offensive” joke on her show the day after Sunday’s Academy Awards Viewing Party.

After German-born supermodel Heidi Klum arrived at the Oscars in a revealing dress, the New York Daily News reported that Rivers commented, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.” Rivers, as usual, laughed at her own so-called joke, and she later refused to apologize after ADL president Abraham Foxman  scolded her, saying, “Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better.”

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Rivers didn’t miss a beat and defended herself by replying, “My husband lost the majority of his family at Auschwitz, and I can assure you that I have always made it a point to remind people of the Holocaust through humor.”

Foxman was aghast. “Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence,” he said.

Rivers and the ADL have gone head-to-head in the past. Last fall, The ADL criticized her for angry remark aimed at Costco for refusing to sell her book, “I Hate Everything…Starting With Me,” by declaring, “Germany is where banning books started, and it can start here just as quickly,” she said at the time.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Bernhard Rosenberg•6 hours ago −.

    While it was inappropriate and in bad taste, she is Jewish and no ANTI-Semite.Joan Rivers has been supportive of Jewish philanthropic and social causes and is a former Hadassah Woman of the Year. In her books, she makes reference to Jewish holidays and rituals, as well as very trenchant and witty remarks about American Jewish social phenomena—including the Catskill Mountains Borscht Belt, where she performed early in her career. I have heard many of her monologues and she has made such statements before.

  2. The Holocaust can no longer be about the brutality, the murder of 6 million, the murder of 1.5 million children, all the horrors that go along with it,”It needs to be about what these brave souls went through, what we can learn from it. We need to charter that into education about love, about caring. If we take from it only the horrors and the murders, that will destroy the relevance of the Holocaust.

    RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  3. Rivers has always been vulgar, crude and gross. Now that she is an over-the-hill hag, with so much makeup that you need a knife to scrape it off, it is more pronounced.

  4. The only thing she has ever cared about is herself and her career. She is one of the originators of vulgar humor in her desperate need to bolster a career that has been dying for years but awful taste and sick chutzpa keeps her going.

    Jerome S. Kaufman

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