Ben Carson Criticized For Comments Linking Gun Control and Nazi Germany

U.S. Republican presidential candidate has come under fire for suggesting that Adolf Hitler may not have been able to kill six million Jews in Nazi Germany if the country's citizens had been armed. He made the comments during an interview with U.S. news channel CNN.

Carson—who has previously said that a Muslim should never be U.S. president—was discussing the content of his new book, A More Perfect Union. In the book, the Republican candidate who is a devout Christian, cites the example of Nazi Germany as evidence that citizens should have the right to bear arms.

He was asked by CNN host Wolf Blitzer whether the Holocaust would have occurred if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at the time. Carson replied, "I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."

Carson added that "there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns [from their subjects] first."

Richard Verber, senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a representative body elected by British synagogues and Jewish organizations, told Newsweek: "It is deeply offensive to see the memory of the Holocaust, a systematic genocide of unique proportions, being used as a political football in an unrelated domestic debate about gun control."

Simon Schama, a Jewish British historian and BBC presenter, questioned Carson's comments on Twitter, while ITV News international affairs editor Rageh Omaar expressed his confusion at the comments.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon, is currently polling second behind Donald Trump in the race to become the Republican presidential candidate, MSNBC reported.

He has also received backing from prominent figures such as media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted to express his support for Carson over current U.S. President Barack Obama, whom he suggested was not a "real black president." Murdoch later apologized for the tweet.