WIESENTHAL CENTER: USE OF HOLOCAUST IMAGERY IN HEALTHCARE PROTESTS,

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OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            November 5, 2009


 


 


WIESENTHAL CENTER: USE OF HOLOCAUST IMAGERY IN HEALTHCARE PROTESTS,

“ A CHEAP AND DISGUSTING ABUSE OF HISTORY”


 The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on the organizers of today’s grassroots rally in Washington D.C. to publicly repudiate the use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery, sometimes gruesome, in the protest against government policies. This comparison has continued to be invoked despite numerous protests from the Wiesenthal Center and others.


Numerous websites have posted a photo of  protesters hold a sign showing slain concentration camp victims with the caption: “National Socialist Health Care  Dachau Germany 1945”. Another sign declares that the White House and its alleged “government takeover” of the economy, banks, the media and healthcare, is “Just Like Nazi Germany!”.


“Using the victims of the Holocaust in the debate over health care is a cheap and disgusting abuse of history,” said Mark Weitzman, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Government Affairs. “It reflects only the ignorance and callousness of those who cannot debate an issue on its merits and should be immediately repudiated by all responsible parties,” he continued.  “Both the memory of the victims of the Nazis and the American public deserve better,” he concluded.


Earlier this year, when the logo for the White House healthcare proposal was compared to the Nazi’s eagle symbol, Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center said, “Americans have every right to be critical of the President’s health care plan but we demean ourselves and everything that America stands for when we compare either Democrats or Republicans to the Nazi Third Reich. Some of us may be too liberal and others too conservative, but none of us are Nazis.”


 The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).


For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter,  or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.