Glenn Beck: Young Norway victims like 'Hitler Youth'

/ Source:

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck compared the victims of the shooting spree at a Norway summer camp to Nazi's youth movement, drawing international ire.

"There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth, or whatever," Beck said on his radio show Monday, which is broadcast on more than 400 stations.

"I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing," Beck said about the Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya where 68 people, mostly teens, were killed.

Later in the same show, Beck described Anders Behring Breivik — the Norwegian suspect charged with last week's double massacres — as a "madman."

Former press secretary to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Torbjorn Eriksen, swiftly condemned the U.S. broadcaster for his remarks about the Utoya camp.

"Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about," Eriksen told the Daily Telegraph. "Glenn Beck's comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful."

The massacre on Utoya came hours after a bombing on a government building in central Oslo on Friday. The twin attacks killed at least 76 people, shocking a nation so unaccustomed to violence that police officers there are rarely armed.

Eriksen told the Daily Telegraph Beck's remarks were a "new low" for the former Fox News pundit, who left the network earlier this year after sagging ratings and a litany of controversial quotes.

The Hitler Youth was a division of the Nazi Party, made up of teens and and children as young as 10, that existed from 1922 to 1945.

Washington-based activist group The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence called Beck's comparison "absolutely disgusting."

Political camps associated with Beck
Despite his harsh words, Beck actually has some involvement in political youth camps himself. His 9/12 Project — which aims to unite Americans as much as they were on the day following the Sept. 11 attacks — has been running camps for kids this summer. The Utah camp, for example, seeks to provide "heritage-based education for youth, with special focus on the Constitution and the Founding generation."

On Tuesday, defense lawyer said that Breivik hates "the values of democracy" and he felt it was necessary to launch the attack. "He looks upon himself as a warrior," Geir Lippestat said in a press conference.

Breivik posted a 1,500-page manifesto online before his attacks which detailed his radical theories about Islam and multiculturalism.

"I want to make this very, very clear: This is the act of a madman," Beck said. "This is the act of somebody who needs to be in prison for the rest of their life."

Beck also said he predicted something like this would happen.

"I warned that this what was coming in Europe ... Last fall I said Europe is going to go into financial trouble and it's also going to go into problems with radical Islam."