A French politician is under investigation after reportedly saying “Hitler didn’t kill enough” Roma after confronting a group of the so-called gypsies camped near his town.
Gilles Bourdouleix represents the UDI party and is also mayor of Cholet.
With armed police by his side, a local journalist recorded the mayor’s angry confrontation with the group, which was camping among about 100 vehicles in a field, the Telegraph reported.
As Bourdouleix tells them to move along, they began making Nazi salutes, to which he responded, “like what, Hitler didn’t kill enough.”
When pressed, he said that’s what they get for comparing him to the Nazi leader.
Bourdouleix also said the Roma called him a pedophile, to which he accused them of incest, the Telegraph said.
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After media across France published the comments, a local prosecutor said he has opened a preliminary investigation while the UDI is considering firing Bourdouleix.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Bourdouleix should be punished, Agence France-Presse reported.
“These comments are a defense of crimes committed in the Second World War, a defense of Nazism and coming from a mayor, from a member of parliament, it’s completely intolerable,” he said.
In response, Bourdouleix said he was misquoted and attacked the newspaper in question.
“I mumbled something like, ‘if it was Hitler he would have killed them here,’ meaning, ‘thank goodness I’m not Hitler,’” he said, according to Reuters.
The newspaper in question has defended its accuracy.
Hitler’s concentration camps killed anywhere from 220,000 to 1.5 million Roma during the Second World War.
In France, Roma have special permission to camp their “caravans,” or mobile homes, in designated areas.
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