Madrid City Council member Guillermo Zapata. (Twitter) (Twitter)
Guillermo Zapata

Holocaust children

Children suffering in the Holocaust (AP)

Spanish politician Guillermo Zapata joked about the Holocaust on Twitter and is now facing public criticism. He apologized, saying he is not an anti-Semite but enjoys black humor.

A newly elected Madrid city council member has come under fire after a four-year-old tweet in which he joked about the extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust surfaced.

Guillermo Zapata, a member of the left-wing Ahora Madrid party in Spain, tweeted in 2011: “How do you get five million Jews in a (Seat) 600? In the ashtray”.

The “Seat 600” is apparently alluding to a car.He was joking about the burning of Jews in ovens after they were gassed to death.

Zapata deleted his Twitter account as soon as the old tweet was exposed.

Spanish media reports that Zapata apologized for the tweet and denied being an anti-Semite. He conceded that politicians should know better, and said in his defense that he had “always liked black, cruel humor.”

“I find the Holocaust to be deplorable and terrible,” Zapata said in his apology on Twitter. “I am absolutely not an anti-Semite. On the contrary, I have always been interested in Jewish culture and have always been against the criminalization of the Jews.”

The Socialist Party, which had struck a political deal with Ahora Madrid, demanded an immediate explanation from the mayor’s office, El Mundo reported.

“The city of Madrid cannot tolerate any racist attitudes and should have a zero tolerance approach to xenophobia,” a city official stated.