Klum, who was born outside Cologne, Germany but lived in Manhattan most of her career, refused to comment on Rivers’ joke.
The ADL called the remark “vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors, and indeed to all Americans.”
“Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better,” said ADL president Abraham Foxman.
“We cannot believe it made it to the airwaves,” he added. “Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence.”
Foxman then demanded a formal apology and asked E! to yank the segment from future broadcasts. E! could not be reached for comment. Rivers, however, refused to apologize.
“My husband lost the majority of his family at Auschwitz, and I can assure you that I have always made it a point to remind people of the Holocaust through humor,” she said.
Those familiar with Rivers know that no one is safe from her barbs. In her nightclub act, she aims her comedic arrows at gays, old people, the handicapped,and even Helen Keller, to name just a few. Last September, she performed at The Venetian in Las Vegas where she did a whole bit about visiting Auschwitz for a vacation and stopping into a café. “Mmm, something smells good,” Rivers said. “Who’s in the oven?”
Rivers’ remarks come right after Oscar host Seth MacFarlane was chided by some for jokes he made about Jews running Hollywood.