Simon Wiesenthal Center to Japanese Vice Prime Minister: Which 'Techniques' of the Nazis Can We 'Learn From'"?

July 30, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges Japanese Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso to immediately clarify a statement at a lecture yesterday in Tokyo.

Remarking on the revision of the Japanese Constitution, Aso spoke of how “we can learn from [that] technique” of the Nazis, who changed Germany's Weimar constitution “unnoticed.”

“What ‘techniques’ from the Nazis’ governance are worth learning—how to stealthily cripple democracy?” asked Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Human Rights NGO, adding, “Has Vice Prime Minister Aso forgotten that Nazi Germany's ascendancy to power quickly brought the world to the abyss and engulfed humanity in the untold horrors of World War II?

“The only lessons on governance that the world should draw from the Nazi Third Reich is how those in positions of power should not behave,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).