Munich bans display of yellow stars at coronavirus lockdown protests

Germany has seen several protests in cities across the country over the government’s strict coronavirus lockdown, and at some, demonstrators have worn yellow Stars of David meant to resemble the ones that Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust.

These stars often say “not vaccinated” or “vaccination will set you free,” a play on the ironic slogan displayed in several Nazi concentration camps, such as Auschwitz. Jewish leaders and public officials have expressed concern about the rhetoric.

Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the country’s EJC affiliate, called the display “Holocaust trivialization.”

The city of Munich took action, banning the display of yellow stars at demonstrations. Those who flout the regulation face a fine, according to the Bavarian Broadcasting service, though the fine amount was not given.

Germany does not force citizens to be vaccinated, but last year — following a measles outbreak — it barred children and educators from schools if they had not been vaccinated or naturally immunized. Not attending school carries a fine, which provided an indirect incentive to immunize.

The government has reiterated that, should a vaccine be developed against the coronavirus, citizens can choose whether to be immunized.

Following Munich’s lead, a politician in the former East German state of Saxony-Anhalt is proposing a similar crackdown. Rüdiger Erben, of the Social Democratic Party, called those who display such propaganda “antisemites of the most repulsive sort.”

Antisemitic conspiracy theories proposing Jewish responsibility for the coronavirus have gained traction among Germany’s fringe, and the country recently reported the highest number of antisemitic crimes since 2001.

related

Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Statements

EJC President calls on the Portuguese Parliament not to harm the Sephardi citizenship law

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor has written to the President of the Portuguese Parliament calling on him to ensure that a law passed in 2013 which provides Sephardi Jews with the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship is not harmed by recent attempts to pass amendments which would damage the applicability, intention and spirit of the original law.

Antisemitic chants at anti-racist march in Paris shows how worthy cause is being hijacked to spread hate

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor called on anti-racist marchers and organisers to ensure that antisemitism is not being adopted by some within their ranks, after large groups of marchers at a rally in Paris's Place de la République shouted antisemitic slogans like “dirty Jew”.

Kantor Center Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2019 – The Coronavirus Crisis is Reviving ‘Blood Libels’ Against Jews

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said that already in the first few months since the global breakout of the coronavirus, there has been a rise in antisemitic manifestations relating to the spread of the disease and the economic recession triggered by the pandemic at the release of the Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2019. The total number of major violent incidents monitored in 2019 was 456, an 18% rise from 2018.

Message from Moshe Kantor

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor announced a series of important measures to provide support and assistance to Jewish communities and other people in need to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis.