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Joan Rivers not apologizing for Holocaust joke

By CNN Staff
updated 7:03 AM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rivers made the quip Monday on a show about Oscar fashion
  • She said she uses humor to remind people about the Holocaust
  • Anti-Defamation League says remark was "vulgar and hideous"

(CNN) -- Comedian Joan Rivers isn't about to apologize for a joke she made about the Holocaust.

Rivers, while appearing Monday on "Fashion Police" on E!, talked about the dress model Heidi Klum wore to the Academy Awards

"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens," Rivers said.

The Anti-Defamation League called the remark "vulgar and hideous," but Rivers, who is Jewish, said it is her way of getting people to talk.

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"It's a joke No. 1. No. 2 it is about the Holocaust. This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor," she told HLN's "Showbiz Tonight."

When asked by host A.J. Hammer why she won't apologize, Rivers said, "For what?" She also said critics should focus on people who have anti-Semitic views and not someone whose late husband lost his entire family during the Holocaust.

"Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, said in a statement posted on the organization's website. "There are certain things about the Holocaust that should be taboo. This is especially true for Jews, for whom the Holocaust is still a deeply painful memory."

The website said Foxman is a Holocaust survivor.

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