Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO and current senior chairman of Goldman Sachs, falsely claimed that Adolf Hitler did not order his military to use chemical weapons during World War II.
Of course, the German military did use chemical agents to murder Jews during the Holocaust.
With speculation swirling online and on cable news that Russia might resort to using chemical agents in its war on the people of Ukraine, Blankfein, who is Jewish, weighed in.
“Worth noting even Hitler didn’t permit his military to use chemical weapons, though he had them,” the former Wall Street banker tweeted.
Worth noting even Hitler didn’t permit his military to use chemical weapons, though he had them. https://t.co/jG25woB8kl
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) March 24, 2022
Blankfein’s bad take is dead wrong, and Twitter ripped him for it.
It’s always good to get a reminder that the people who run America are absolutely 100% out of their minds https://t.co/D1YfR1DVeF
— Jon Schwarz (@schwarz) March 24, 2022
While everyone is dunking on this doofus, should be noted the Nazis actually gassed a lot of Russians BEFORE they started gassing Jews. Jews were mostly shot for much of the war. Then the Nazis started putting Russian soldiers in gas vans to check something new.
Gruesome stuff. https://t.co/4L6eRjbufj
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) March 24, 2022
Hitler gassed 6 million Jews and millions of other people.
Let them Rest In Peace. https://t.co/kdoDh1XzvX
— Boris Epshteyn (@BorisEP) March 24, 2022
Worth noting that even Hitler didn’t build a tranche of BBB-rated subprime home loans and market them to German banks as performing bonds without telling them that John Paulson hand-picked the loans and took the other side of the bet https://t.co/OS1cqVHoiG
— David Dayen (@ddayen) March 24, 2022
Germany’s Wehrmacht in fact did not widely use chemical agents during battle, as Germany’s army had during the First World War under Wilhelm II.
But six million Jews died during Hitler’s Holocaust, many of them in gas chambers. The preferred method of murder by Germany was a chemical agent called Zyklon B.
Other people in German-occupied countries died following invasions in gas vans.
As the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum notes, paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppe took industrial killing mobile:
After the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and Einsatzgruppe mass shootings of civilians, the Nazis experimented with gas vans for mass killing. Gas vans were hermetically sealed trucks with engine exhaust diverted to the interior compartment. Use of gas vans began after Einsatzgruppe members complained of battle fatigue and mental anguish caused by shooting large numbers of women and children. Gassing also proved to be less costly.
Blankfein’s take is reminiscent of a similar one from former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
In 2017, Spicer claimed that Hitler had not used gas on his own people, not in the same manner as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Spicer said of Hitler.
As the New York Times noted, as many as 180,000 Jews who were murdered by Nazi gas during the Holocaust were from Germany.
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