CHICAGO (CBS) – A City Council committee on Monday unanimously condemned newly-elected U.S. Rep. Mary Miller for saying Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler “was right about one thing” during a January rally outside the U.S. Capitol.
Miller has since apologized for her remarks at a “Save The Republic” rally by the conservative group Moms for America, where she said Republicans need to “win the hearts and minds of our children” in order to avoid losing future elections.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Frost Advisory Away From The City
“This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future,’” Miller said at the rally on Jan. 5.
During a meeting of the City Council Committee on Health and Human Relations on Monday, Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), one of two Jewish members of the City Council, said Miller “disgraced her office and gravely offended the citizens of the state of Illinois.”
“One of her very first acts in Congress was to try and glorify one of the most evil and hateful men in human history,” Silverstein said of Miller, a Republican from downstate Illinois.
Silverstein, who said she had relatives murdered during the Holocaust, said anti-Semitism is on the rise across the nation, and now more than ever public officials need to “need to speak out as strongly as possible against bigotry, hate, and Holocaust denial.”
“As a representative of Chicago’s largest Jewish community, and a proud Jewish woman myself, I can say with certainty that nothing Hitler did was right; and as a proud citizen of Chicago – a city that stands up for ethical and moral ideas – I condemn Rep. Miller’s statements in the strongest terms possible,” Silverstein said.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), who also is Jewish, said she is grateful that the City Council has long supported condemning all forms of hate.READ MORE: Arwady: Chicago To Deploy Vaccine Ambassadors, Kids 12 And Over Should Get The COVID Shot
“Unfortunately, we live in a society now that has been agitated and stirred up, and hate has been made okay gain. It has never been okay, it has never been right, and in particular I’m proud that our City Council knows that references to Hitler pretty much hit the bottom of what you can say about hate,” Smith said. “To hear a newly elected representative of government think that there was something that this man did right is – as we say – a Shanda, a shame, an embarrassment, and truly something that should never ever be regularized.”
The Health and Human Relations Committee unanimously approved a resolution condemning Miller, and calling her remarks “a disgrace to the memories of those killed in the Holocaust and the millions of victims of World War II, an insult to the families of those who perished, and a discredit to the office of United States Congresswoman and the great State of Illinois.”
A total of 40 aldermen have signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution, which now goes to the full City Council for a vote next week.
Days after her speech at the Moms for America rally, Miller apologized for quoting Hitler, but accused others of “trying to intentionally twist my words.”
“I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds,” she said in a statement. “While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness.”
Miller’s office also claimed in a statement on Twitter that her statement about Hitler “was a denunciation of evil dictators’ efforts to re-educate young people and similar efforts by left-wing radicals in our country.”MORE NEWS: Where To Get Pfizer COVID-19 Shot For Children 12-15: Doctors Say Vaccinating Children Key To Helping End Pandemic
The congresswoman’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the aldermen’s vote to condemn her.