Anti-Vax Yellow Star Called “A Desecration of Memory”

18 Apr 2019

The campaign against vaccinations has taken a disturbing turn as some opponents of mandatory vaccination have begun calling government representatives calling for vaccination Nazis. The comparison is  “Obscene, with a capital O,” according to Dr. Kenneth Prager an Orthodox Jew who serves as the chair of the medical ethics committee at Columbia University Medical Center. “It is obscene because it equates one of the greatest goods of humanity with one of the greatest evils,” he continued. “It is a chillul HaShem.”

Dr. Helene Sinnreich, director of the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld program in Judaic studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, reacting to the comparison of vaccination laws to Nazi crimes. In a subsequent interview, she noted that “a few weeks ago they (i.e., anti-vaxxers) started wearing the yellow Jewish stars that said ‘No Vax.’”

Dr. Sinnreich is not amused by the conflation with Holocaust imagery. “One of the biggest killers of Jews during the Holocaust was disease,” Sinnreich said. “Anne Frank didn’t die in a gas chamber. She died of typhus. … There was an extremely high mortality rate in the ghetto, and a lot of it was from communicable disease.”  As she wrote in the Post, “For Jews of the ghetto, vaccines were precious protection and symbolized a belief in their own future. It is a desecration of their memory to equate … vaccine injuries with the vast tragedy of the Holocaust.”

Read more in The Jewish Standard