Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley said Nazi leader Adolf Hitler should be an inspiration to homeless people because he is an example of a homeless person who “went on to lead a life that got him in the history books.”
Speaking on the floor on Wednesday in support of a bill that classify camping on public property as a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine or community service, Niceley argued that homeless people can still turn their lives around like Hitler did.
“I wanted to give you a little history on homelessness,” Niceley said. “1910, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his oratory, and his body language, and how to connect with citizens and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books.”
“So, all these people — it’s not a dead end, they can come out of this, these homeless camps, and have a productive life or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life,” he added.
Hitler did experience a period of homelessness and was living in a homeless shelter in Vienna from 1910 to 1913.
He then went on to become fuhrer of the Third Reich, initiate World War II and presided over the Holocaust, which resulted in the killing of 6 million Jews.
The Tennessee bill, which critics say criminalizes homelessness, later passed in the Senate on a 22-10 vote. It now heads to Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s desk.
“It just breaks my heart that we are criminalizing people who have no where else to go,” said Democratic state Sen. Brenda Gilmore, according to News 9, adding that the bill could separate homeless individuals from their children.