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Anti-vax Protestors Should Not Misuse The Holocaust And The Star Of David

Today all around the world we commemorate Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, which marked the start of the Holocaust, on 9 November 1938, Nazi leaders attacked Jewish people, and property leaving the streets strewn with broken glass, synagogues ablaze and Jewish people violently targeted. Over 80 years later here in New Zealand we are seeing the Star of David being misused for “freedom” protests and protestors invoking the Holocaust for their own ends.

If people wish to protest, they should do so without citing the industrialised genocide of six million Jews, including 1.5 million Jewish children, as the reason they need to do so. Protests equating what the Government is doing to protect New Zealand citizens with the Holocaust are ill-founded on a false equivalence and an ignorance of what the Holocaust entailed. Nothing in New Zealand comes even close to the atrocities carried out, on an industrial scale, by the Nazis. To make the comparison trivializes the Holocaust and diminishes the enormity of what the Nazis did.

Deborah Hart, Chair of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand said, “The comparisons are grotesque and deeply hurtful to Holocaust survivors and their families.” She added, “If people are so ignorant of the Holocaust and what it actually was, and was not, they could contact the Holocaust Centre to arrange a visit.”

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand condemns the use of the Star of David, a symbol embodying the Jewish people in recent protest action. Ms Hart said, “The Star of David is a beloved emblem of the Jewish people. It is bad enough that it was exploited by the Nazis to single out Jews for persecution, but now in a move of appalling cultural misappropriation, it’s being corrupted by the anti vax movement for its own ends. The protest movement and protestors should leave the Star of David where it belongs, with the Jewish people.”

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