Tom Perkins issues apology for comparing America's rich to Jewish victims of Nazi Germany

January 28
1:01 AM 2014

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins apologized for his letter sent and published to The Wall Street Journal where he compared the rich to the Jews of Nazi Germany who became the victims of the "Kristallnacht," VentureBeat reported. His statement led to a backlash from social media and even a disavowal from the venture firm he co-founded, the report said.

In his letter, Perkins said that that the "progressive radicalism" against the "1%" could start a new "Kristallnacht" or the "night of broken glass" in reference to the time when Jews were rounded up by the Nazis, the report said.

The co-founder of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers issued the apology in his conversation with Bloomberg West TV show host Emily Chang. Perkins said he regretted the comparison, saying that "Kristallnacht" was a "terrible word" to choose.

As to what led to the use of the word, Perkins told Chang, "Now I used the word because during the occupy of San Francisco by the Occupy Wall Street crowd, they broke the windows in the Wells Fargo Bank. They marched up through our automobile strip on Venice Avenue and broke all the windows in all the luxury car dealerships. And I saw that. I remembered that the police just stood by frozen. And I thought, well, this is how Kristallnacht began."

He added that he also wrote a letter of apology to the Anti-Defamation League and had a "pleasant discussion" with its head Abe Foxman before coming to the interview with Chang.

Perkins, however, insisted that rich should not be blamed for the inequality in America. He said, "But the 1 percent are not causing the inequality. They are the job creators. Silicon Valley is - I think Kleiner Perkins itself over the years has created pretty close to a million jobs and we're still doing it. It's absurd to demonize the rich for being rich and for doing what the rich do, which is get richer by creating opportunity for others." 

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