A German government official has raised concerns that antisemitism is emerging as a common and unifying ideology among protestors against pandemic lockdown measures after an eleven-year-old German girl compared holding a socially-distanced birthday party with the plight of the Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
The child’s comparison, made at a protest, has provoked further concern from officials that children are being intentionally targeted by antisemites as a supposedly effective means to broach controversial topics. During the speech that the child gave in the city of Karlsruhe, a crowd of more than a thousand people listened as they protested coronavirus prevention policies.
Far-right symbolism and imagery, used as an attempt to draw parallels with the Holocaust, have been increasingly adopted in the movement to resist social distancing measures and protective masks.
Felix Klein, appointed as head of the government’s efforts to combat antisemitism in the country, has stated that active hatred against the Jewish community has drastically risen during the coronavirus outbreak. Antisemitic conspiracy theories have been widely shared and spread by “mystics, peace activists, so-called ‘Reich citizens’ and right-wing extremists” to mobilise support for future protests.
Mr Klein has suggested that such trivialisation of the crimes of the Nazi regime ridicules its victims and undermines the culture of remembrance in Germany.