Nazi comparison ‘leads to nothing good,’ a German official says

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel leads the German government's weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman says that comparing Nazi war crimes to present-day situations ‘‘leads to nothing good’’ — a reaction to his U.S. counterpart’s remarks about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s invoking of the Holocaust to illustrate the severity of chemical weapons use drew rebukes from Jewish groups and critics.

Spicer apologized on Tuesday for making an ‘‘inappropriate and insensitive’’ comparison.


He had said that Adolf Hitler ‘‘didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.’’ Critics noted the remark ignored Hitler’s use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday that Spicer’s comment ‘‘only shows what is in any case the German government’s position — any comparison of current situations with Nazi crimes leads to nothing good.’’