Unrepentant Tom Perkins apologises for 'Kristallnacht' remarks but defends war on the rich letter
Billionaire venture capitalist admits Kristallnacht was a "terrible word" to use but defends war on the rich remarks
Billionaire Tom Perkins has apologised for using the word 'Kristallnacht' after he sparked outrage by saying that rich Americans are being persecuted like 'Jews in Nazi Germany'.
Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, refers to a series of coordinated raids against Jews throughout Nazi Germany in November 1938, which saw hundreds of Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues destroyed.
At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and 30,000 were arrested.
The venture capitalist used the word in a letter where he drew parallels between America's "progressive war" on the rich and the persecution of Jews by the Nazi regime, and likened the Occupy movement to Kristallnacht.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV, the co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers said: "It was a terrible word to have chosen."
But Perkins was unrepentant about the broader comparison, claiming that the richest one per cent of Americans are being "demonised" just like Jews were under Nazism.
He went on to say that, just like in Nazi Germany, Jews only represented one per cent of the German population, yet Hitler was able to demonise them as a community. Perkins highlighted that it is "absurd" to attack the rich for doing what rich do, "creating opportunities for all".
"The letter said what I believe: I believe we have to be careful that we don’t demonise anybody and we don’t demonise the most creative part of society," he said. "As a class, we are beginning to engage in class warfare. The rich as a class are threatened through higher taxes, more regulation."
In a letter to The Wall Street Journal titled "Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?", Perkins said: "I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its one percent, namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the rich.
"From the Occupy movement to the demonisation of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one per cent."
During the interview, Perkins, who was educated at MIT and Harvard university, also took a moment to boast about his Richard Mille watch.
He said: "This isn't a Rolex. I could buy a six pack of Rolexes for this".
Perkins was recently in the news after spending $150 million building a super yacht called the Maltese Falcon.
Watch him in the videos below:
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in World Cup match
- 5 Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...
£37000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Tolworth, Surrey - £40,...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + excellent package & bonus expectations: Real Staff...
£80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: A highly successful Co...