| 16.5°C Dublin

history-onics Comparing jab rollout to horrors of Holocaust is ignorant

Get some perspective, Mattie!


Mattie McGrath

Mattie McGrath

Mattie McGrath

Once more for the people in the back.

Don't. Mention. The. Holocaust. Unless. You're. Mentioning. The. Holocaust.

Got it, Mattie McGrath?

The Tipperary politician is just the latest public figure to conflate the murder of six million Jews to the mild inconvenience of having to flash a 'vaccine pass' to go for a nice pint indoors.

Speaking outside the Dáil on Tuesday, the Independent politician complained of the plan: "Is that where we've come to now, back to 1933 in Germany, we'll all be tagged in yellow with the mark of the beast on us, is that where we're going?"

Challenged over the remarks, the Independent TD doubled-down on the plinth, claiming the introduction of the Digital Covid Cert is "exactly the same" as the persecution, imprisonment, forced labour and genocide of Jews and other minorities by the Nazis during World War II.

"If you study history, and I'm not a historian, you can see what happened in Germany," he continued. "There is huge correlations - it's exactly the same if you want to study it."

Well, at least he got one part of that statement right. It's not the first time the politician has invoked "Nazi Germany" to overreact to restrictions.

And he's far from alone in his history-onics.

Just last month, erstwhile television presenter Eddie Hobbs also suggested the Star of David could be used to identify those who haven't been jabbed yet.

"Why not insist on badges so the terrified can identify the unvaccinated among us, has to end well surely?" he snarked in a since deleted tweet, before claiming it was a sophisticated attempt at "satire" that the "slow learners" on his timeline simply didn't get (George Carlin, he ain't).

Washington state representative Jim Walsh went one further by wearing the yellow star - infamously used to mark out Jews for brutality - during a speech to protest vaccine mandates Stateside.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

But it's not just public figures after Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner called for a ban on the symbol at Covid protests worldwide.

No later than yesterday, while queuing for my first jab, I overhead a woman who had given her friend a lift to the centre explain why she wouldn't be following her inside for the vaccine, which - in two years' time - she warned would prove "worse than the Holocaust".

All I can say is that there were obviously a lot of people playing hooky during history class.

You can be uncomfortable with the concept of the Digital Covid Cert (I know I am).

You can even choose not to get inoculated at all.

But, for the love of God, please, please, stop comparing a life-saving vaccine to the state-sponsored torture, rape, starvation and extermination of millions of men, women and children - because the only thing that's displaying is a badge of ignorance.

If Mattie McGrath doesn't get that it's not "exactly the same" thing, then maybe he should take up the Auschwitz Museum's invite to take part in an online history lesson on the Holocaust and the problem with trivialising it.

Previously schooling Hobbs over his tweet, the museum explained: "Instrumentalisation of the tragedy of Jews who were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, isolated in ghettos & murdered during the Holocaust matched with Nazi salute in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline."

If in doubt, my advice to politicians is to take the Basil Fawlty approach - and don't mention the war.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Top Videos