• Germany's news in English

Outrage over Heidi Klum 'hot as Holocaust' gibe

The Local · 1 Mar 2013, 16:08

Published: 01 Mar 2013 16:08 GMT+01:00

"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens," Rivers said of Klum, who sported a revealing plunge-neck, backless gold dress at an Oscars party thrown by Elton John last weekend.

But it seems Rivers, 79, known for provocative, catty red-carpet celebrity observations, went too far with the Holocaust comment, broadcast on Monday's episode of the TV entertainment show she co-hosts, Fashion Police.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), issued a statement demanding Rivers apologize for her “vulgar and hideous” comment.

“We cannot believe it made it to the airwaves,” said ADL head Abraham Foxman. “Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence.”

“Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better,” added Foxman, referring to Rivers' Russian-Jewish background.

"My husband lost the majority of his family at Auschwitz,” an unrepentant Rivers told The Hollywood Reporter this week.

Story continues below…

“I can assure you that I have always made it a point to remind people of the Holocaust through humor," she added.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:26 March 1, 2013 by raandy
The remarks aside, that dress would fit a younger person better. Age is no beauty treatment.
16:39 March 1, 2013 by Beachrider
She certainly has a nice smile!
16:46 March 1, 2013 by coffeelover
Go to any comedy club anywhere in the world and I dare you to like every single joke you hear in 1 night. It's impossible. Some one will not like a joke that everyone else laughs at. People nowadays can't seem to let a bad joke fade away and die, they claim to be offended when they really just want to argue.

It is not the end of the world, but to those who can't let sleeping dogs lie, we are willing to give you Joan Rivers in exchange for Heidi Klum. Fair trade right?
17:33 March 1, 2013 by guliver
The one who made that joke knew exactly that there are still holocaust surviviours who still live though old and still carry in their hearts the deep wounds of what happened and how did they lost their families, he knew also these people are super sensibile for every bad joke about their suffer.

The question is why did he do it? to make noise enough to bring the theater lights towards him? or a jew around him get him angry? or a german around him get him upset?

So and so he got what he wished to have-unneccessary noise around himself.
18:24 March 1, 2013 by couchtripper
Guliver - Joan Rivers is not a "he". She is a famous female, *Jewish* comedian.

Why the ADL jumped in is a mystery as the comment was against, if anyone, the Germans. But even then it was as part of a compliment towards Heidi Klum!
18:38 March 1, 2013 by blogboy
whatever happened to free speech! PC is ruining everything! no one can take a joke anymore.
20:57 March 1, 2013 by Anny One again
This joke makes no sense to me.

If she (Rivers) had made the joke with a Jewish model, it would still be tasteless, but then it would make sense.

Ms Rivers is a child of Russian Emmigrants who came to the US long before WWII

from Russia,so far i know there were a lot of progroms in Russia,no joke ! / ?
21:37 March 1, 2013 by blackboot11
You Go Joan !!!!!

...and don't back down on your comments for anyone.
22:19 March 1, 2013 by McM
Joan's been known to call a spade a shovel before, perhaps it was her polite way of not referring to mutton dressed up as lamb !
22:44 March 1, 2013 by Leo Strauss
A self-hating Joan. :)
23:20 March 1, 2013 by Anny One again
Has her husband committed his suicide before or after her last plastic surgery?
00:18 March 2, 2013 by elitebavarian
'freedom of speech' ??
00:33 March 2, 2013 by sonriete
One more facelift and Joan will have a goatee.
00:34 March 2, 2013 by yllusion
We are always free to be idiots. Joke for some isn't for others.
01:45 March 2, 2013 by EffectivelyME
Come on Local, stop sensationalizing. You said this,

"...was as "hot" as a Nazi shoving Jews into a concentration camp oven."

Then a little farther down you quote Miss Rivers,

'"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens,"'

It was not a great thing to say, but your incorrect paraphrasing was an unnecessary distortion.
01:52 March 2, 2013 by PNWDev
Thank God for a Heidi photo and not a Joan photo.
02:53 March 2, 2013 by wendyb
Joan Rivers remarks aside that dress was really distasteful.
09:10 March 2, 2013 by DocEllis
Joan should know better. doc
11:03 March 2, 2013 by Roberto Gold
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:06 March 2, 2013 by guliver

thanks for the information, I did not knew it, probably she wished to get the theater lights on her ,if she was so succssefull she would not probably had to create that small provocation....any way in a few days every one will forget about it...
11:11 March 2, 2013 by pjnt
It's Joan Rivers. Only Germans would make stink over a comment from her. She is a comedian who preys on shock humor victims. When you know your source you can take the comment for what it is worth.

Get over it, she isn't condemning/condoning anything or attacking anyone.
14:15 March 2, 2013 by zeddriver
I guess this segue's quite well with the German of the weeks statement that Austrian's have a sense of humor the Germans not so much.
15:28 March 2, 2013 by Darra
Maybe Joan Rivers knew exactly what she was saying. Maybe she used "hot" as a sarcasm.

Like that: Nazis did not look good ( hot, cool , or whatever) in what they did. H.Klum does not look hot ( good, cool, whatever) in this dress. The woman is a supermodel, but this dress makes her look like an average aging woman with saggin breasst. Not hot!

So actially to me it sound as if Joan Rivers was saying that nothing German looked that bad since the nazis.

If anybody should be ofended , it's H. Klum. And by the way, J. |rivers comments support that .

¦quot;Apologizing for what? For what?! … Heidi didn't mind it. That's the joke, Heidi Klum didn't mind it. We didn't mind it. So somebody else minded, you know, then don't watch ¦#39;Fashion Police.¦#39; Next.¦quot;
15:34 March 2, 2013 by Izidrew

I guess Germans don't like to be reminded of their past,

holocaust is almost a taboo subject in Germany when ever the

theme pops up comments take shape of whispers and looks

making sure that nobody is tuning in the conversation.

No sense of humor
15:50 March 2, 2013 by raandy
"hot" as a Nazi shoving Jews into a death camp oven,, all sarcasm, Klum does not look hot and the dress is distasteful ,like nazis shoving jews into death camp ovens

I don't feel outraged or pensive over her remark.
19:00 March 2, 2013 by Anny One again
Right,right,but what about american humor?

Don Imus US radio host and his"nappy-headed hos"remark or former CNN TV host Rick Sanchez,some media coverage suggested that Sanchez' comments insinuated that Jews controlled CNN and other networks.Sparks outrage and both lost their Jobs.Or try something with the "N-word",lots of other examples.
21:55 March 2, 2013 by Bigfoot76
I have some very bad news for all. Sources have reported that Merkel has asked Heidi Klum about how she can obtain such a dress for herself.
00:00 March 3, 2013 by Vargaz
I can't blame her husband for checking out early. That nasal voice, those same old jokes, those JAP legs always clamped shut...and that daughter of hers, poor thing. Looking at that surgery-nightmare Joyce Wildenstein-like face of hers, it is quite possible she ate him.
00:17 March 3, 2013 by ChrisRea
Well, at least Germans did not make a big fuss of it. It was the American Jews that felt offended. I personally think that it is not worth putting much effort in remarking a third-hand humorless joke. Really, is there anyone who laughed about it?
10:48 March 3, 2013 by raandy
Anny One again ,

I always wondered why people like Imus, was it because he had a sarcastic sense of humor? The nappy hos remark demonstrated his lack of sensitivity or maybe he lost to many brain cells from years of alcoholism.

Sanchez, should have taken the old proverb "You don't bite the hand that feeds you" more seriously.
14:07 March 3, 2013 by bwjijsdtd
Looks like Heidi Klum's breast implants went South for the winter ... if she is the best

Germany has to offer, then I feel sorry for Germany.
18:45 March 3, 2013 by Icke Ricke
I do not get it. Are not Germans also Ashkenazi's? And are not Ashkenazi the Jews who believe in Jesus Cristus. And were not the Ashkenazi/Germans the majority of victims persecuted as burnt-offerings, as let us say Dresden? Someone please help me with this because Jacob Grimm puts Ashkenazi Jews AS Germans; And I put a Gentile as a Christian Jew on line with Krist.
04:51 March 4, 2013 by PrussianAmerican5
In America we have freedom of speech, people have to stop being so thinned-skin already.
08:25 March 4, 2013 by Anny One again

Well, I wanted to explain with these examples just what it looks like with the understanding or consequences or political correctness and humor within the U.S..While accusing the German people for the lack of humor.Do you remember the VW Commercial Spot controversy during the Super Bowl? White guys with Jamaican dialect / slang?On the other hand, every U.S. / Brit. Comedian mimics or impersonated Germans as constantly screaming with commanding and incomprehensible gibberish pseudo german mumbo jumbo.Not even the valued Jon Stewart can do without it.When you see some interviews with u.s.students on YouTube, it has not missed its effect.

Germans usually are accustomed to this and take it calmly and relaxed,because they don`t know it better or want to show their sense of humor or have internalized their guilt complex.I think we have here a double standard.
13:04 March 4, 2013 by raandy
Anny One again,

I see what your saying and agree. Remember the sports comedy "White Men Can't Jump" try changing white men for something else and brace yourself for the barrage of outrage.
13:07 March 4, 2013 by odtaa
If people didn't protest the 'joke' would not have been publicised.

Joan Rivers always makes provocative statements that she knows will cause offence as gain her publicity - eg her comments on 9/11 when she suggested there would be a smile on the face of at least 6 victim's wives - got rid the b******* and got the cash.

Don't react and she dies from lack of publicity.
16:22 March 4, 2013 by Anny One again

I'm not so sure if you understood me correctly.

Maybe my fault, too many random examples with African Americans.

That was not my intention.I just wanted to explain that

U.S. or Brits do have limits on jokes, but this does not apply

always jokes about Germans.

It seems that you have not even noticed that.

.....................You let me down.;(
13:45 March 11, 2013 by yllusion
It is very easy to criticize germany's "lack of" sense of humour when it is not your country and your people who have to carry the burdon of a disastrous past and the shame that is meant to the whole country. People seem to have short memory for all those killings that took place across europe only 70 years ago by the hands of a few maniacs. People today seem very used to see blood on the streets, dispair and suffering on the tv and are becoming very insensitive to all human atrocities happening today and to those who happened in the past. There should be nothing funny about jews or any other human being being burned inside ovens.

It might sound funny for the americans who are used to make war on foreign soil and see "virtual bloodshed" on the TV, while the suffering and the human disaster is happening on the other side of the world. I am sure no american would find any 9/11 joke funny. You have to understand the culture you are in and the history of a country in order to define what is humorous and what is not, because the facts have different meanings to different people. It might feel distant for people in America, but remember that WWII started here, in Germany. If you don't understand that, you are an idiot. And an idiot is what you are when you criticize germany for it's "lack of humour" concerning the WWII and the sensitivity of the Jews about this issue.
23:13 March 14, 2013 by MaKo
What a gross non-dress of a garment! Ms. Klum should call Mrs. Rivers to personally and effusively thank her for the distraction.
12:31 March 21, 2013 by RhiannonIlana
As a Jew, I wanted to say that to me this joke is a lot more offensive to Germans than to Jews. Still I think if someone doesn't like it they don't have to watch Joan Rivers.

Also wanted to reply to Icke Ricke, Wikipedia is your friend, but basically, Ashkenazi Jews are those who originate in Eastern Europe. That includes Germany but also Poland, Russia, Czech Republic etc. They do not believe in Jesus. The only ones that do are the so called Messianic Jews, and the rest of us don't think they're really Jews anyway.
23:46 March 22, 2013 by Yontrop
@ RhiannonIlana

As neither Jew nor German, thank you for an intelligent post. By the way, I don't find Heidi's choice of dress especially good, but am willing to forgive her. I could say more but choose not to.
17:04 March 28, 2013 by alf2
Heidi Klum is hotter than that holocaust, but dimmer than the blackout.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'
Günter Oettinger. Photo: DPA

German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'

17 minutes ago

Germany's asylum law is responsible for luring so many refugees to Europe and needs changing, said the country’s EU commissioner Günther Oettinger on Wednesday.

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant
An RWE brown coal mine. Photo: DPA

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant

47 minutes ago

A Peruvian farmer has filed a landmark lawsuit against German energy giant RWE, saying that the company's fossil fuel emissions endanger his family, livelihood and hometown, a German NGO said Tuesday.

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots
Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg. Photo: DPA

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots

16 hours ago

The Bishop of Augsburg has announced plans to build a €300,000 altar in the city cathedral, just days after complaining that the city was underfunding refugees.

Five foolproof steps to do Advent like a German
The lighting of the first "Adventskranz" candle marks the start of the festive season. Photo: DPA

Five foolproof steps to do Advent like a German

16 hours ago

With the first Sunday of Advent almost upon us, The Local looks at how Germany celebrates the festive season - and what to look out for once Advent begins on November 29th.

Climate chaos threatens Germany, experts warn
Flooding in Bavaria in 2013. Photo: DPA

Climate chaos threatens Germany, experts warn

17 hours ago

Ever-more heat waves and floods will hit Germany over the coming century, posing serious challenges to the country’s agriculture and economy, a new analysis predicts.

Growth boosted by shopping and refugees
File photo: DPA

Growth boosted by shopping and refugees

21 hours ago

The German economy posted firm growth for the third quarter, boosted by consumer spending which is fast becoming a cornerstone for German economic expansion, data published Tuesday showed.

November set to break refugee arrivals record
Refugees at the German-Austrian border. Photo: DPA

November set to break refugee arrivals record

22 hours ago

November is set to break the record set in October for the highest number of refugees to arrive in Germany in one month, police reported on Monday.

Pegida marchers attack news cameraman

Pegida marchers attack news cameraman

1 day ago

Police arrested two people in Dresden on Monday evening after a cameraman was attacked by anti-Islam demonstrators on the fringes of a much smaller gathering than recent weeks.

Volkswagen scandal
VW 'can fix 90 percent of cheating cars' in EU
File photo: DPA

VW 'can fix 90 percent of cheating cars' in EU

1 day ago

German auto giant Volkswagen, mired in a massive emissions cheating scandal, said Monday that it has found technical solutions for more than 90 percent of the vehicles affected in Europe.

Lufthansa faces new strikes starting Thursday
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa faces new strikes starting Thursday

1 day ago

The troubled airline Lufthansa is facing a new round of strikes, after air crew union UFO told its members to head for the pickets on Thursday and Friday.

Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd