Update — July 27:
“The post shared by the Republican Party of Wabasha County MN is appalling. As we stated over the weekend, to compare public health measures to Nazi orders for Jews to wear yellow badges is reprehensible and wholly inaccurate. We demand the Republican Party of Wabasha County remove the post and apologize. We are requesting a meeting with GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan to express our dismay and demand a plan to halt these absurd and offensive comparisons.”
July 26, 2020
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in condemnation of the ongoing comparisons to Nazis, and the misuse of the Holocaust, to measures being taken to prevent the further spread of COVID-19:
“The JCRC condemns ongoing comparisons to Nazis, and the misuse of the Holocaust, to measures being taken to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, which has already killed over 145,000 Americans. Such comparisons are as reprehensible as they are historically inaccurate. They insult the memory of the Holocaust’s victims and survivors and are deeply hurtful to most Jews and others whose communities were victimized.
“Just yesterday, people throughout Minnesota and the world were appalled by a now-viral video of a couple wearing masks emblazoned with swastikas in Marshall, Minnesota, a city 150 miles west of Minneapolis.
“We stand in solidarity with the neighbors disgusted by this hateful display, as well as the greater Jewish and non-Jewish communities who are outraged by this symbol of genocide and tyranny. We thank Walmart for its condemnation of this hateful act and for the swift response of law enforcement to serve trespass notices.
“We also thank Raphaela Mueller for bravely documenting this act of hate. According to the Star Tribune, Mueller, who was born and raised in Germany, accompanied her social media post about this incident with a message about how her great-grandmother had fought in the underground against the Nazis, and a reminder that the swastika is a symbol of hate.
“This display, as well as other images and related rhetoric making such false comparisons, which we’ve seen everywhere from outside the Governor’s mansion to city council meetings in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and on social media are wrong. In particular, such comparisons are an egregious affront to the elderly Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans living in Minnesota, and all those who perished in the Holocaust or fighting to defeat Nazi Germany.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.