“Corona rebels” play down the Holocaust – umbrella organization of Swiss Jews worried
1500 people demonstrated against the corona measures in Wohlen AG on Saturday. One participant carried a banner with the inscription “Vaccination Makes You Free”: an allusion to the inscription “Arbeit macht frei” that was emblazoned on the entrance gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Here the National Socialists murdered at least 1.1 million Jews in the Holocaust.
Several demonstrators wore yellow stickers that read “Unvaccinated” – based on the Jewish star that people of Jewish descent had to wear under the Nazi regime.
Such trivializations of the Holocaust are not uncommon in the environment of the so-called “Corona rebels”. This is shown by the Anti-Semitism Report 2020 published on Tuesday, published by the Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism and the Swiss Association of Israelites (SIG), the umbrella organization of the Jewish communities in Switzerland.
“In connection with the corona pandemic, conspiracy theories are booming,” says SIG Secretary General Jonathan Kreutner. Many of these theories are explicitly anti-Semitic: “ The Jews are assumed, for example, to control the world with the help of a staged pandemic or to want to implant a chip in all people with the Covid-19 vaccination.”
Unfortunately, in times of crisis, part of society would scapegoat minorities. This pattern can also be observed in epidemics: “Even in the Middle Ages, the Jews were blamed for the plague. Unfortunately, today we see similar behavior at Corona. The pandemic acts as a trigger that triggers an accumulation of anti-Semitic incidents. “
Many supporters of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories
In German-speaking Switzerland, the report lists 47 anti-Semitic incidents such as abuse, graffiti and property damage. The re are also 485 incidents in comments from online media, social networks and messenger apps. Since there is no systematic monitoring of these channels, the number of unreported cases is probably high.
Kreutner is very concerned about the frequency of anti-Semitic content in the chat groups of the “Corona rebels” on the Telegram messenger app: “ The re are many supporters of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories here.”
In view of the size and heterogeneity of the chat groups, this is likely to be a minority. Openly anti-Semitic statements are partially contradicted, the authors are sometimes blocked: “With 143 anti-Semitic incidents, these chat groups are still highly problematic.”
Little to no contradiction among the “Corona rebels”, however, reap the downsizing of the Holocaust that is widespread online or at demos such as in Wohlen. The y do not fall under the internationally recognized anti-Semitism criteria according to which the report is drawn up – and are therefore not counted.
Nevertheless, Kreutner says clearly: “ The frequency and nonchalance with which the Shoah is played down is worrying.” Anyone who rejects the corona measures should not abuse the worst crime in human history for political protest: “We need clear contradiction”.
Anti-Semitism exists in all milieus and political camps. But Kreutner is currently observing a revival of classic right-wing extremist symbolism, such as last week when the Biel synagogue was desecrated with swastikas. SIG General Secretary Kreutner rated the incident as “the most serious attack on a Jewish institution in Switzerland for at least a decade”. (bzbasel.ch)
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“Stay at home!”: Corona in Switzerland in quotes
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Corona rebels play Holocaust umbrella organization Jews worried