Anti-Vaxxers Protest While Wearing Nazi Symbol and Star Of David


Photo Credit: Daniel Ullrich, Threedots

Anna Salinas, OwlFeed News Editor

In the year 2020, the world was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. And now about two years later multiple vaccinations have come out resulting in mandates and requirements. 

Of course, everyone has an opinion on vaccines, but if you’re an anti-vaxxer, you definitely have something to say about it.

Originally starting in November of 2021, anti-vaxxers in Kansas started comparing the the new vaccine mandates to the Holocaust. The group then started wearing yellow Stars Of David on their sweaters claiming “not vaccinated for covid.” This has left a bad taste in various Americans mouth as many believe that comparing the mandate to get vaccinated to the Holocaust is anit-semitic by downplaying how brutal the Holocaust was towards Jewish people.

To even gain more attention, anti-vaxxers were displaying the swastika which was used to represent the Nazi party in Germany during World War II.

Taking place November 14, 2021, anti-vaxxers protested outside of the office of Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Jewish politician, whose district includes the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Riverdale. The demonstration was organized by Rob Astario, a Republican and former Westchester County executive running for governor of New York. 

“The display of swastikas and yellow Stars of David outside my office today is repugnant and offensive,” Dinowitz tweeted. “People are perfectly free to express their opinion on vaccines or any issue, but to openly display Nazi symbols outside the office of a Jewish legislator is despicable.”

Following the situation, Rob Atario responded about the anti-vaxxers’ way of protesting. “I had no idea until I saw this photo,” wrote Astorino, a former Westchester county executive, according to the publication the Haaretz. “If I’d seen it I’d have told them to take the sign down. No comparison to those atrocities and yes, I’ve always condemned antisemitism.” 

Of course, vaccination mandates keep being created and anti-vaxxers keep protesting. But there are certain people who are starting to speak up about the problematic misuse of the yellow star.

According to the online publication The Hill, Margot Friedlaender, a Holocaust survivor who has recently turned 100 years, old condemns anti-vaxxers wearing the yellow stars. “Incredulous, I had to watch at the age of 100 years, how symbols of our exclusion by the Nazis, such as the so-called ‘Judenstern’ [the German word for the yellow badges], are shamelessly used on the open street by the new enemies of democracy, to present themselves — whilst living in the middle of a democracy—as victims,” Friedlaender said when speaking to the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

Friedlaender was imprisoned at Theresienstadt concentration camp during the Holocaust and unfortuantly lost both her mother and brother, who were both killed at Auschwitz. Friedlaender claims that she is outraged to see “the new enemies of democracy” for wearing the yellow Stars of David like the ones that Nazis made Jews wear.

Following Friedlaender, Joan Salter, Estelle Nadel and Gabriella Karin — also Holocaust survivors — told Insider that using the imagery of the Holocaust was an insult to both those alive and deseased. “These people may well have heard of the Holocaust but clearly have absolutely no idea of what the suffering of the victims entailed,” Joan Salter said.

Photo Credit: Paxson Woebler (via Wikimedia Creative Commons)

Similarly, Estelle Nadel, an 87-year-old survivor, said, “How dare people make comparisons between the Holocaust and the pandemic.” 

And finally, Gabriella Karin finds it extremely disturbing. “These people do not have an understanding of what actually happened during the Holocaust,” she said. “You have to understand that we are still here.”

Aside from survivors stating their opinions on the situation, on the opposite side of the argument, politicians have been making arguments of how Covid-19 measures are similar to Nazism. According to Forbes, Representatives like Warren Davidson from Ohio, Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, Republican Washington state Rep. Jim Walsh, Republican Idaho state Rep. Heather Scott, Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Lara Logan, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suggested that “modern Americans opposed to vaccines were more persecuted than Anne Frank.”

According to nonprofit Combat Antisemitism Movement, there have been over 1.2 million online discussions connecting Covid-19 to the Holocaust and of 63.7 million posts and comments, 56.9 million were written in English.

Overall, the more vaccine mandates come out, the more opinions will continue to come and will either be well received or argued against. If you are one to protest, please think before going and what message you want to spread and how you want to spread it.