Miller's comments were condemned by Republican and Democratic colleagues, as well as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

By Sean Neumann
January 07, 2021 11:30 AM
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Lawmakers and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum overwhelmingly condemned Rep. Mary Miller for praising Adolf Hitler in a speech Tuesday outside the U.S. Capitol building, one day before pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the building.

The 61-year-old Miller, a first-term Republican from Illinois, said: “Hitler was right on one thing, that whoever has the youth has the future.”

Miller went on to apologize, saying in a Jan 8. statement, "I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated and parents would be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children's hearts and minds."

Miller made the widely rebuked comment during a two-minute speech at a “Moms for America Saving the Republic” event outside the Capitol organized by the conservative group Moms for America. Her remarks were soon denounced by colleagues, as well as the Holocaust Museum.

“The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum unequivocally condemns any leader trying to advance a position by claiming Adolf Hitler was ‘right,’ " the museum said in a statement. “Adolf Hitler’s Germany plunged Europe into the most destructive event in human history, World War II and the Holocaust resulting in the genocide of six million European Jews.”

Rep. Mary Miller
| Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted: “I outright condemn this garbage.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called them “unfathomable and disgusting remarks.”

“Let me be clear: Hitler got nothing right,” Pritzker said, adding, “Illinois Republicans cannot allow this to stand, and must condemn this vile, evil streak in their party.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Miller “definitely should be condemned” and that “she should resign."

Rep. Mary Miller
| Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

The Illinois GOP party did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment Thursday.

Moms for America demanded an apology from the media when reached by PEOPLE and defended Miller's comments by referencing another Hitler quote in its response. "We reiterate our support for her, stand by her statements and encourage people to listen to her entire speech which was full of truth and inspiration," the group said.

“Congresswoman Miller's statement was a denunciation of evil dictators' efforts to re-educate young people and similar efforts by left-wing radicals in our country today,” the Congresswoman's official Twitter account shared Wednesday.

Reading from prepared remarks, Miller said: “Each generation has the responsibility to teach the next generation. You know, if we win a few elections we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts of our children. It’s the battle. Hitler was right on one thing that whoever has the youth has the future. Our children are being propagandized.”

Video of her remarks went viral on social media Tuesday.

Miller’s response to the criticism was posted to Twitter hours after pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an act of unprecedented insurrection in an attempt to disrupt Congress' ratification of the Electoral College vote.

In support of Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, Miller voted twice in favor of objecting the electoral vote afterwards. As expected, the vote was ultimately ratified overnight to formally name Joe Biden, 78, the next president.

While Miller’s comments were condemned by state and federal colleagues, the Illinois Legislative Jewish Caucus also circulated a petition calling on the freshman representative to resign over her remarks.

“A sitting member of Congress who uses Hitler’s obscene methods for indoctrinating children with racism and fascism as a guidepost, igniting hate and violence has no place in Congress,” the 15 Illinois lawmakers wrote.