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Holocaust Survivor Outraged After Protesters Compare Vaccines To Nazi Death Camps

by : Julia Banim on : 19 Jul 2021 19:45
PA Images

A Holocaust survivor has expressed outrage after anti-vaccination protesters compared themselves to Jewish people who were persecuted in Nazi Germany.

On Saturday, July 17, around 100,000 people across France marched in protest against government vaccine regulations.

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Some of the protesters made offensive comparisons to apartheid in South Africa as well as the Holocaust, and some could even be seen wearing yellow stars similar to those worn by Jewish people in Nazi concentration camps.

France protest (PA Images)PA Images

94-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Szwarc has now spoken out against such comparisons during a ceremony held yesterday, July 18. The ceremony was intended to commemorate victims of antisemitism and racism by the French state, which collaborated with Nazi Germany in the dark days of World War II, AP News reports.

Szwarc, who faced deportation from France under Nazi occupation, said: ‘You can’t imagine how much that upset me. This comparison is hateful. We must all rise up against this ignominy.’

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He continued:

I wore the star, I know what that is, I still have it in my flesh. It is everyone’s duty to not allow this outrageous, antisemitic, racist wave to pass over us.

France’s secretary of state for military affairs, Florence Parly, who was in attendance at the ceremony, condemned the protesters’ behaviour as ‘intolerable and a disgrace for our republic’.

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Meanwhile, the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism has stated that the protesters were ‘mocking victims of the Holocaust’ with their actions, which minimised the horrors of Nazi Germany.

It’s estimated that 1,500 protesters marched in Paris on Saturday, as per Euro News, while 5,000 and 4,250 people marched in the cities of Montpellier and Marseille respectively. A number of far right individuals were among those marching.

These protests come as the French government introduces new measures in the ongoing fight against coronavirus, including mandatory vaccinations for health workers and essential health passes for people to present before entering the majority of public places.

France protest (PA Images)PA Images
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The French government has brought in these new measures as a means of tackling the fast-spreading Delta variant, which has sparked a worrying new wave of infections across the country.

Public health authorities reported more than 10,900 new cases on Friday, July 16, showing nearly a three-fold increase when compared to just one month ago.

Following President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement, vaccinations in France have risen following a notable slowdown over the course of recent weeks.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, France, no-article-matching, vaccine

Credits

AP and 1 other
  1. AP

    Anger as French protesters compare vaccines to Nazi horrors

  2. Euro News

    France: Tens of thousands protest against COVID pass, vaccination