Billionaire Tom Perkins Apologises but Does Not Regret Super Rich and Holocaust Comparison
Billionaire Tom Perkins Apologises but Does Not Regret Super Rich and Holocaust Comparison

Billionaire Thomas 'Tom' Perkins has apologised for comparing the "persecution" of the super rich in the US - dubbed 'the 1%' - with the treatment of the Jews during Nazi Germany.

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Perkins said sorry for the letter he wrote to the Wall Street Journal that continually drew comparisons between the anger growing towards the richest people in the US and the Holocaust.

"I'd deeply apologise to you and anyone who has mistaken my reference to Kristallnacht as a sign of overt or latent anti-Semitism," said Perkins on Bloomberg TV.

"This is not the case. It was a terrible misjudgment [but] I do not regret the message at all. Any time the majority starts to demonise any minority, no matter what it is, it is wrong and dangerous."

Perkins added that he has also written a letter of apology to the Anti-Defamation League.

In a letter sent to the WSJ, the 82-year-old cofounder of famous Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said there are great parallels between the treatment of the richest Americans and the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany that resulted in the Holocaust.

"Writing from the epicentre of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich," said Perkins in a letter to the WSJ.

"From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent.

"There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these 'techno geeks' can pay."

Perkins eventually ended the letter by claiming that there is a "very dangerous drift in our American thinking," before adding "Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"

During WWII, Kristallnacht or 'Night of Broken Glass', resulted in a series of coordinated attacks against Jews, their properties and businesses, resulting in 30,000 Jews being arrests and imprisoned in concentration camps.

While he says he has since regretted the Kristallnacht comparison, he says he doesn't regret highlighting a "progressive war on the American 1 percent."

Perkins recently hit the headlines after splashing out $150m on a super yacht called the Maltese Falcon. However, this hardly makes a dent in his wallet as he is worth around $8bn.

Perkins was educated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard and is Silicon Valley's most famous veterans.

However, he said that while he is upset over the supposed treatment of the super rich, he does understand some of the growing resentment.

"I have members of my own family in trailer parks. Not immediate relatives, but family," said Perkins on TV.

"[There needs to be] less interference, lower taxes, let the rich do what the rich do, which is get richer, but along the way they bring everyone else with them, when the system is working.

"I am at peace with myself. The fact that everyone now hates me is part of the game."