Karl Lagerfeld Evokes Holocaust in Attack on German Migrant Policy

'One cannot – even if there are decades between them – kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place,' octogenarian fashion designer says

Actress and model Lily-Rose Depp and Chanel artistic director and honoree Karl Lagerfeld attend an event at The Pierre Hotel in New York, October 24, 2017.
Actress and model Lily-Rose Depp and Chanel artistic director and honoree Karl Lagerfeld attend an event at The Pierre Hotel in New York, October 24, 2017. Evan Agostini/AP

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has evoked a barrage of criticism for involving the Holocaust in his critique on Germany's migrant policy, The Guardian reported on Monday.

"I know someone in Germany who took a young Syrian and after four days said: 'The greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust,'" the octogenarian fashion designer said on French television.

"One cannot – even if there are decades between them – kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place," he added.

France's media regulator said it had received hundreds of complaints about the remarks made by Lagerfeld, who was born in Hamburg in 1933, the year Adolf Hitler rose to power.

Others took to social media to criticize Lagerfeld's comments. "Stick to perfume, mate," tweeted the British author and anti-radical Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz.

"What a HORRIBLE thing to say. Shocked and hurt. Why stirring up hate ?! Muslim never deported Jews #KarlLagerfeld," a Twitter account with over 17,000 followers wrote.

The Bavarian branch of Alternative for Germany, the country's far-right anti-immigrant party, refrained from criticizing the designer, simply tweeting "Hmm" in response to the remarks.

The report notes this is not the first time Lagerfeld has chided Germany for its intake of migrants and refugees.

"Merkel had already millions and millions (of immigrants) who are well integrated and who work and all is well she had no need to take another million to improve her image as the wicked stepmother after the Greek crisis," Lagerfeld said. 

Since the start of the migrant crisis in 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has allowed the influx of over one million asylum seekers into Germany.