Coronavirus Causing Spike in Antisemitism, Says Germany’s Point Man on Issue
Echoing concerns among many that the coronavirus pandemic and resulting social upheaval were leading to an upsurge of Jew-hatred, the German government’s point man on the issue said on Tuesday that opponents of social-distancing measures were beginning to engage in antisemitic activities and Holocaust minimization.
The Associated Press reported that Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, highlighted antisemitic conspiracy theories about the virus that claimed an omnipresent “elite” was using it to control the citizenry.
The theories were spreading among those who believed in pseudo-scientific “treatments” for the virus, as well as peace activists.
Klein also expressed concern about traditional far-right antisemitism connected to the pandemic.
Furthermore, Klein commented on protesters against lockdowns and restrictions, who were beginning to minimize the Holocaust by comparing themselves to its victims and wearing yellow stars.
“Portraying oneself as the persecuted victim is and was a central element of antisemitic attitudes,” he noted.
Blaming Jews for pandemic disease outbreaks is a phenomenon that dates back centuries, and is particularly infamous for causing anti-Jewish violence during the “Black Death” bubonic plague outbreak in 14th-century Europe. Thousands of Jews were killed and entire communities destroyed as a result of the violence.