Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam sparked outrage when he "downplayed" the significance of the Holocaust. He has now apologized for his "crass words" that caused offense.
Extinction Rebellion co-founder, Roger Hallam, apologized on Thursday for the "hurt and offense caused" after he described the Holocaust as "like a regular event" in history.
His comments had sparked a furor across Germany since Wednesday after he told newspaper Die Zeit that the genocide, which resulted in the deaths of millions of people, was "just another f--kery in human history."
The British activist expressed regret in a Facebook statement on Thursday, saying: "I am very sorry for the words I used. And I wish to apologize for the hurt and offense they have caused."
Hallam recognized that by making a comparison between one genocide and another, it was "obscene and offensive, in particular for all those who remain haunted by memories of what occurred and for all those who lost people they loved."
He added: "I am sorry for the crass words that I used."
German officials rebuke 'downplaying' of Holocaust
On Wednesday a number of German political figures and environmentalists spoke out against Hallam's comments on the Holocaust, including German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The foreign minister said the industrial-scale murder of Jews was "uniquely inhuman."
"We must always be aware of this to ensure: never again!" he wrote.
The co-leader of Germany's environmentalist Green party, Robert Habeck, told the newspaper Bild that "there must be no place for anti-Semitism or downplaying of the Holocaust.''
Luisa Neubauer, a leading figure in Germany's Fridays for Future movement, told newspaper Bild: "Those are insane words that I do not agree with in any way."
Hallam's comments were also condemned by the German and British branches of Extinction Rebellion.