Europe

Germany on Spicer: Nazi parallels lead to 'nothing good'

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk as they arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    From left, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk as they arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, right, attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, right, attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says that comparing Nazi war crimes to present-day situations "leads to nothing good" — a reaction to his U.S. counterpart's remarks about Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's invoking of the Holocaust to illustrate the severity of chemical weapons use drew rebukes from Jewish groups and critics.

Spicer apologized on Tuesday for making an "inappropriate and insensitive" comparison.

He had said that Adolf Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons." Critics noted the remark ignored Hitler's use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday that Spicer's comment "only shows what is in any case the German government's position — any comparison of current situations with Nazi crimes leads to nothing good."