Madonna has spoken out against what she perceives to be as rising racial intolerance in France, going as far to compare the country to a modern day version of “Nazi Germany.” The pop singer made the comments during an interview with a European radio station this week.
“France was once a country that accepted people of color,” Madonna said. “It was once a place that artists escaped to, whether it was Josephine Baker or Charlie Parker or writers, painters, whatever. It was a country that embraced everyone and that encouraged freedom in every way, shape, or form — freedom of expression, artistic freedom, for example.”
“Now, it’s completely gone,” she continued. “It’s like, to me, you know, I said this two years ago, it’s like we’re living in a crazy time. It feels like, you know, Nazi Germany. All of these people … the intolerance, the level of intolerance that’s going on is really scary. It’s not just happening in France, it’s all over Europe, but it’s specifically in France. Anti-Semitism, I think, is at an all-time high, people are becoming, behaving, and reacting in extremely fearful ways, so it’s scary.”
This is not the first time Madonna has associated France with Nazisim. During her 2012 tour, she juxtaposed images of France’s National Front Party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika and Hitler’s face.
However, some have questioned whether Madonna’s comments include an ulterior motive. Following last month’s terrorist attack that left 12 dead, Madonna showed her support French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by posting a pair of photos on her Instagram account. “These are very scary times we are living in. Ignorance breeds Intolerance and fear. We can only fight darkness with light! We are all Charlie!” one posting read. Said the other, “We must respect AlL religions! But we must also RESPECT human life!! Killing in the name of G*D is man’s idea not G*D’s.” However, both postings included the hashtag #RebelHeart, the name of Madonna’s latest album.