Following statements by the leader of the right-wing ECR Group in the European Parliament this morning, in which he associated Nazism to social democracy, S&D Group leader Udo Bullmann said:

“The statements made by Syed Kamall of the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists today in the plenary session of the European Parliament are outrageous. It is unbelievable how a member of this House can dare to associate the murderous Nazi regime with the Social Democrats. 85 years ago, the SPD was the only force in the Reichstag that voted against Hitler’s Enabling Act, as other opposition had already been sent by the Nazis to concentration camps. The words by Otto Wels will be remembered forever: ‘Freedom and life can be taken from us, but not our honour.’ Social Democrats throughout Europe resisted Hitler’s regime and paid for it with their lives. With his disgusting comparison, Kamall has mocked these brave people. Mr Kamall has obviously never understood the causes of war and fascism, and the unspeakable atrocity that the Nazis have inflicted on humanity. The founding of the European Union in peace and freedom was our answer to this. I wish that Mr. Kamall learns to understand that.”

Kamall’s exact statement was: “I would remind you, when you talk about right-wing extremists, we have to remember that the Nazis were National Socialists. It is a strain of socialism. Let’s not pretend.”

Following Udo Bullmann’s remarks ECR’s co-Chair wrote in his tweeter: “It was not a personal comment aimed at any MEPs. I’ve apologised directly & unreservedly to Mr. Bullman for any offence caused. I have upmost respect for anyone who stood up & fought against Nazism, Communism & any other kinds of extremism, regardless of political affiliation.”