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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Armbands, Stars of David, Auschwitz analogies: Deceptive comparisons at ‘hygiene demonstrations’ are outrageous and wrong

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Holocaust survivors are becoming increasingly disturbed by images of so-called hygiene demonstrations, where demonstrators are drawing on Nazi symbols and contents to attract attention and describe their supposed persecution in the current situation. The slogan displayed in Freiburg “Vaccination makes you free” deliberately creates absurd parallels between the protestors’ personal situation and the situation in Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp with its inscription above the main gate “Arbeit macht frei” (work makes you free). Equally absurd are the links with the crimes of SS doctor Josef Mengele or the use of the Star of David bearing the text “not vaccinated” which can now be seen printed on demonstrators’ T-shirts and in the Internet. But the survivors are especially enraged by hygiene demonstrators’ increasing use of armbands bearing the Star of David and the word ‘Jew’, which the Nazis once forced the survivors to wear. This comparison between the current situation of present-day demonstrators and the persecution suffered by prisoners of Auschwitz is ignorant of historical facts and utterly inappropriate.

Commenting in Berlin, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, said:

"Survivors of the Holocaust consider these comparisons outrageous and wrong. There is absolutely no similarity between the present-day situation and the repression and persecution of Jewish people under the Nazi regime, or the murderous horrors of Auschwitz. Such comparisons between state actions taken to protect the health of the whole population and the protesters’ personal situation during the Covid-19 crisis are arrogant and tasteless. The Holocaust survivors hope and appeal to the people who are now making use of their just right to demonstrate and criticize within a democracy, that in future they will refrain from resorting to such confused approaches and using such offensive comparisons.”


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81