Dutch party equates COVID measures to Nazism on national Holocaust remembrance day


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A Dutch conservative party suggested on the country’s Holocaust memorial day that COVID-19 measures have undone the liberation from the Nazis.

The message by the Forum for Democracy, which drew a sharp rebuke from Dutch Jews, came in a banner disseminated online ahead of May 4 and 5, the national remembrance day for Holocaust and World War II casualties and the day celebrating liberation from Nazi Germany.

In what amounts to an epitaph, the Forum for Democracy banner reads: “On May 5 we will remember 75 years of freedom. 1945-2020.”

The banner was designed to resemble the official logo and font of the national 4 and 5 May Committee, which organizes commemoration events.

“This analogy by Forum for Democracy is unacceptable,” the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands, CJO, wrote in a statement Monday. “It is deeply offensive and inexcusable to make political statements on the backs of victims and their relatives on the week of the national commemorations.”

Anti-vaccination and conspiracy theorists in Europe and the United States increasingly have been drawing parallels between the Holocaust and COVID-19 measures they oppose, like the lockdowns in Holland and around the world.

On Tuesday, an art installation featuring a large mirror was placed in Amsterdam’s popular Vondel Park as part of the May 4 commemorations. It was installed where a sign reading “forbidden for Jews” was put up during the Nazi occupation.

The Nazis and their local collaborators killed at least 75% of the some 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands before the Holocaust — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.

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