The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has joined a growing number of voices and organisations criticising Jimmy Carr for his “career-ender” joke about the Holocaust.
The Trust said it was “absolutely appalled” that the comedian ended his latest Netflix special with a routine about non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and added it was “horrified” at the gales of laughter that followed.
Carr said in the programme, Jimmy Carr: His Dark Materials, which was released in December last year: “When people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about the tragedy and horror of six million Jewish lives being lost to the Nazi war machine.
“But they never mention the thousands of Gypsies that were killed by the Nazis. No one ever wants to talk about that, because no one ever wants to talk about the positives.’”
Widespread laughter can then be heard from the audience.
He proceeded to defend the joke as “educational”, arguing that although everyone knew six million Jews had been killed in the Holocaust, fewer people were aware of its non-Jewish victims.
Carr’s routine also includes a caricature of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, the HMD Trust’s chief executive, said these were “not experiences for mockery”.
She said in a statement: “We are absolutely appalled at Jimmy Carr’s comment about persecution suffered by Roma and Sinti people under Nazi oppression, and horrified that gales of laughter followed his remarks.
“Hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti people suffered prejudice, slave labour, sterilisation and mass murder simply because of their identity”.
The Auschwitz Memorial Museum added: “It’s sad to hear words that can fuel prejudice, hurt people & defile memory of their tragedy.”
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