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Joan Rivers' Holocaust Joke Mentioning Heidi Klum Angers Critics

Joan Rivers' Holocaust Joke Mentioning Heidi Klum Angers Critics

03/01/2013

Joan Rivers used the Holocaust and German model Heidi Klum in a joke that may have crossed the line from comedy to defamation.

Rivers, known for her lack of regard for all things politically correct, managed to shock yet again with her sense of humor. After Elton John’s annual AIDS Foundation Academy Awards party, Rivers felt compelled to comment on Project Runway’s Klum’s attire. “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens,” said Rivers on Fashion Police.

Although fellow Fashion Police style critics Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos appeared to be highly amused by Rivers’ wit, the Anti-Defamation League was not. The group’s Abraham Foxman, a survivor of the Holocaust himself, asserted that the comments were, “vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors,” according to The New York Daily News.

"Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better," Foxman continued. "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."

Rivers, both Jewish in her own right and by marriage, has a decidedly different perspective where her joke was concerned. "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," she said. To her, no matter how tasteless some may find her joke to be, it sheds light on a dark point in the world’s past.

The Anti-Defamation League has targeted the Fashion Police host before, most recently just last fall when she compared Costco to Nazi Germany. Why? Costco wouldn’t put her book, I Hate Everything… Starting With Me on their bookshelves. Unmoved by their reprimand, she replied, “Shut the f--- up.“

Read more: Joan Rivers, Heidi Klum

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