Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte today compared his campaign to kill criminals to the Holocaust, saying he would like to "slaughter" millions of addicts just like Adolf Hitler "massacred" millions of Jewish people.
"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts... I'd be happy to slaughter them," he told reporters early today, according to GMA News.
"You know my victims, I would like to be, all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition."
The comment was a response to critics who have likened him to Hitler.
Since Duterte swept to power in July, more than 3300 Filipinos have been killed, either gunned down by police in late-night drug operations or felled by assassins, often after being named by police.
Victims of the extra-judicial killing spree are drug suspects - or those misidentified as drug suspects - named on police lists and targeted before they are charged or given the chance to stand trial. Often, their bodies are dumped by the roadside with signs that read "pusher."
The United States, the United Nations and the European Union have all expressed concern about the conduct of the so-called "war on drugs."
When President Barack Obama raised the issue, Duterte lashed out using a slang term that translates as "son of a whore." When the European Parliament issued a statement, Duterte quite literally gave them the finger.
Duterte cast today's crude (and inaccurate) comment as a reply to European "hypocrisy."
"You close your doors. It's winter time. There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and then you're worried about the deaths of about one thousand, or two thousand, or three thousand?" he said, according to GMA.
Duterte's Hitler comment barely made headlines in the Philippines, where the president's bloody hyperbole has become almost commonplace.
Though Duterte did not seem to be praising Hitler, per se, it's worth noting at least one similarity in how he and the Nazi leader speak about violence.
For Hitler, extermination was the "final solution." Duterte on Friday used the same violently apocalyptic tone, casting his campaign as the only way to "finish the problem" and "save" the nation.