If you think about it, suggesting COVID-19 public health measures are anything like the Nazi persecution of Jews is absurd – and patently wrong. Such false comparisons are so far off the mark. They contradict historical facts, downplaying the evil nature and enormity of the mass murder of six million Jews.
Likewise misappropriating notorious Holocaust imagery and language to score a political point is misleading and highly offence to the memory of all those who perished at the hands of the Nazis and every individual that managed to survive the horrors of the Holocaust.
We need to call it out when we see it and name it for what it is: Holocaust distortion. At a minimum, Holocaust distortion is a sad, insidious display of ignorance. Even more disturbing, it’s often a deliberate act of antisemitic deceit that is used to delegitimatize the pain and suffering of the Jewish people. So, know it when you see it and call it out for what it is.
When individuals invoke the memory of Holocaust victim Anne Frank and insist COVID-19 restrictions are like the Nazi persecution of Jews, there’s a name for that: Holocaust distortion. This type of ignorance uses false comparisons to one of the worst genocides in human history. Anti-vaccine protesters likening their challenges to Anne Frank and her family, who were hunted and killed by the Nazis, is a manipulation of documented facts. Holocaust distortion makes a mockery of our past.
When Holocaust symbols like the yellow star, which Nazis forced Jews to wear to target them for persecution, are used to denounce government measures against the pandemic, it’s morally repugnant. Comparing public health restrictions with hateful actions of the Nazi regime downplays the evil nature and enormity of the Holocaust. There’s a name for that: Holocaust distortion. It abuses and dilutes the memory of one of history’s worst crimes against humanity and is deeply offensive to those who survived the Nazi genocide.
Few symbols are as toxic as the swastika. As the chief icon of Hitler and his genocidal Nazi regime, it evokes one of the worst episodes in man’s inhumanity to man. A potent emblem of racist hate and intolerance, it’s rightly associated with the antisemitic obsession of the Nazis and their extermination of six million Jews. Co-opting the swastika and other Nazi motifs in the service of a political cause shows a disturbing ignorance and disregard for history. There’s a name for that: Holocaust distortion. It trivializes the memory of those murdered for no other reason than simply being Jewish.
Ignorance is no excuse for activists denouncing democratic governments as Nazis. To compare even highly contested actions of a freely elected administration with Germany’s fascist, rabidly antisemitic regime and its extermination of six million Jews is no laughing matter; it’s Holocaust distortion. While one can of course criticize, even harshly, public officials and their policies, it shouldn’t include an analogy with the Nazi genocidal onslaught and Final Solution against Jews in Europe. Even in a heated political arena, there’s no place for this kind of comparison.