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Glenn Beck criticized for comparing Norway victims to "Hitler Youth"

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Glenn Beck addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Feb. 20, 2010. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) criticized conservative talk show host Glenn Beck Tuesday over the former Fox News host's comparison of the victims of Norway's mass shooting to "Hitler Youth."

"Just when we think Glenn Beck can get no more offensive, he ups the ante," said NJDC President David Harris in a Tuesday statement. "It is simply horrendous that Beck would compare the young victims of this tragic crime in Norway to the 'Hitler Youth.' It is repugnant to invoke the Holocaust like this when discussing a Labor Party summer camp for teens -- to say nothing of a camp that was attacked in this calamitous way."

Sixty-eight people, mostly in their teens and 20s, were killed Friday in a shooting spree on Norway's Utoya Island, which was hosting a summer camp connected with the Labor Party's youth wing. Eight people were killed in a connected bomb blast outside the government headquarters in Oslo.

During his show Monday, Beck, called the idea of having a politically-oriented summer camp "disturbing" and likened those attending to members of the Hitler Youth, the Nazi Party's paramilitary arm for children.

"There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth, or whatever," Beck said. "I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing."

In the same show, Beck tied Anders Behring Breivik, the man who confessed to carrying out the two-pronged massacre, to supporters of "big government."

"He is doing the work of a madman. He is doing the work of what all people who want big government always do, and that is commit terrorist acts," Beck said.

Harris called on Beck to "cease and desist" his rhetoric in honor of the victims of Norway as well as the Holocaust.

"After myriad offensive examples of abusive Holocaust rhetoric, the time has finally come for Glenn Beck to cease and desist," he said. "Doing otherwise dilutes the memory of the Holocaust and stains the memory of the victims in Norway as well."

Torbjorn Eriksen, former press secretary to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, also condemned Beck's remarks as "ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful."

"Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of Democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Glenn Beck's comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful."

Breivik pleaded not guilty in an Oslo courtroom on Monday. According to the presiding judge, Breivik explained that he wanted to "save" Europe from the spread of Marxism, multiculturalism and Islamic immigration.

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