Brother of Former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Arrested for Distributing Leaflets Comparing COVID-19 Vaccines to Auschwitz
The brother of former UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who in polls was considered antisemitic by the majority of British Jews, has been arrested for distributing leaflets comparing the coronavirus vaccine to Auschwitz.
The Guardian reported Thursday that Piers Corbyn, 73, was arrested along with another man in Southwark on Wednesday for “malicious communication and public nuisance.”
The leaflets the men were distributing showed a drawing of the gates of Auschwitz with the infamous slogan “Arbeit macht frei” — “work makes you free” — changed to “Vaccines are safe path to freedom.”
The leaflets were already known to authorities. Earlier this week they were denounced by a London council as an attempt to discourage residents, particularly minorities, from getting vaccinated.
Corbyn told Sky News that the leaflets were not offensive despite the Holocaust imagery, saying, “The statement that vaccines are the path to freedom is false, as indeed was the Nazi claim that work is the path to freedom.”
“It’s not offensive, what happened in the Holocaust was horrible and offensive — that isn’t really what this question is about,” he claimed.
Speaking with the Jewish Chronicle, Corbyn mounted a bizarre defense in which he used the dubious term “Jewess” to deny he was antisemitic.
“I was married for 22 years to a Jewess and obviously her mother’s forebears fled the Baltic states just before the war because of Hitler or the Nazis in general,” he said.
“I’ve worked with Jewish leading world scientists over the last 30 years,” he added. “I’ve also employed Jewish people in my business Weather Action, one of whom was a superb worker.”
“The idea we’re antisemitic in any way is completely absurd,” he claimed.