Extinction Rebellion In UK Condemns Movement's Co-Founder For Holocaust Remark

Roger Hallam's downplaying of Nazi genocide “unreservedly denounced” by British chapter.

Extinction Rebellion’s UK arm has “unreservedly denounced” its co-founder after he referred to the Holocaust as “just another fuckery in human history”.

Roger Hallam, a former organic farmer in south Wales who co-founded the global activist movement, argued the Nazi genocide of six million Jewish people needed to be seen in the context of other mass killing.

“The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history,” he told the German newspaper Die Zeit.

He listed other mass killings in the past 500 years, including the Belgians’ slaughter in the Congo, and suggested the Holocaust was “almost a normal event … just another fuckery in human history”.

Roger Hallam characterised the killing of six million Jewish people as “just another fuckery in human history”.
Roger Hallam characterised the killing of six million Jewish people as “just another fuckery in human history”.
Ollie Millington via Getty Images

The German branch of Extinction Rebellion (XR) accused Hallam of “often paralysing” the group’s work as a result of sexist and racist comments made in past interviews, and distanced itself from Hallam.

The environmental movement’s British chapter also condemned the comments and suggested Hallam could be forced out.

In a statement, Extinction Rebellion UK said: “Extinction Rebellion UK unreservedly denounces today’s comments from our co-founder, Roger Hallam, in the German newspaper Die Zeit, made in a personal capacity in relation to the recent launch of his book.

“Jewish people and many others are deeply wounded by the comments today. Internal conversations have begun with the XR Conflict team about how to manage the conflict process that will address this issue. We stand by restorative outcomes as preferable, although in some cases exclusion is necessary.

“Our 6th Principle states: ‘We welcome everyone and every part of everyone working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.’ Our movement must be safe for Jews as well as all other minorities, marginalised peoples, and religious groups.

“We stand in solidarity with XR Germany, with Jewish communities, and with all those affected by the Holocaust, both in the past and in our times.”

Hallam’s comments have sparked anger across Germany.

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, tweeted that the systematic state-sponsored killing that wiped out two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population could not be referred to as “just another fuckery”.

He added: “The Holocaust is more than millions of dead and horrific torture methods. To want to murder and exterminate Jewish women and men is uniquely inhumane. We must always be aware of that so we can be certain: never again!”

In the Die Zeit interview he repeated calls he has made in the past for the climate crisis to be treated with as much emotion as Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp.

When challenged by his interviewer, Hallam said: “There are various debates as to whether the Holocaust is unique or not. I know that that’s the conviction in Germany. But with all respect I don’t agree with it.”


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