Immigration Department Keeps Digging, Clarifies ‘Nazi Germany’ Statement

In case you missed the news of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection getting a few hurt feelings yesterday, they sent out a 1,000+ word statement from Secretary Michael Pezzullo that aimed to separate ‘fact from fiction’ when it came to refugees and the Australian Border Force

Pezzullo laid down some ~truths~, including that the ABF is not an “immoral rogue agency”, they do not keep people in indefinite detention to deter further arrivals, and they are not planning on sending the refugee children in Australia for medical treatment back to “a place of harm”… and so on and so forth.

There’s plenty to unpack in the statement – which is looking more and more like Pezzullo just wrote it on the fly and whacked it up – but the one thing caught the eye of pretty much everyone was that he prefaced the words “Nazi Germany” with the word “allegedly”.

He wrote: “Recent comparisons of immigration detention centres to ‘gulags’; suggestions that detention involves a “public numbing and indifference” similar to that allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany; and persistent suggestions that detention facilities are places of ‘torture’ are highly offensive, unwarranted and plainly wrong – and yet they continue to be made in some quarters.”


“…allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany…”

Quite aside from who the bloody hell signed off on this thing – Pezzullo, probably – the only time the words “allegedly” and “Nazi Germany” should be used together in the same sentence is never.

In response to this unwanted attention that came from this grammatical clusterfuck, the Department put out another statement today to clarify that nah, they *didn’t* just try to deny the Holocaust, but could you still please stop comparing them to Nazi Germany all the same?

“In response to recent media reporting and claims on social media relating to an opinion piece published by the Department regarding children and conditions in detention:

“Any insinuation the Department denies the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany are both ridiculous and baseless.

“This has been wilfully taken out of context and reflects deliberate attempts to distort this opinion editorial to create controversy.

“The term ‘allegedly’ was used to counter claims of ‘public numbing and indifference’ towards state abuses in Nazi Germany and the link to immigration detention in Australia. We reject the comparison to immigration detention as offensive and question this being made as a blanket statement – an allegation hence ‘allegedly’ – to describe the attitude of the Germany population at large during that time.”

That’s not… that’s not any clearer. At all. Perhaps it was simply a grammatical mistake, perhaps it was a fumbling words, but at the time of posting this story, the OG statement remains unchanged. 

Source: Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Photo: Twitter