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'Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could hide in the attic'

RFK Jr. utilizes Holocaust analogy in speech to DC anti-vaccine rally

Comments by son of assassinated US attorney general are slammed by Auschwitz Memorial, which calls them ‘a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay’

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (C) departs after speaking at the Lincoln Memorial to a "Defeat the Mandates" rally in Washington, DC, on January 23, 2022.(Stefani Reynolds / AFP)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (C) departs after speaking at the Lincoln Memorial to a "Defeat the Mandates" rally in Washington, DC, on January 23, 2022.(Stefani Reynolds / AFP)

JTA — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. compared what he sees as threats to human life from 5G, vaccine passports and “low-orbit satellites” to the threat the Nazis posed to Jews during the Holocaust.

“Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you can hide in the attic like Anne Frank did… Today the mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so none of us can run, none of us can hide,” Kennedy said during his speech to an anti-vaccination rally in Washington, DC, Sunday.

Kennedy went on to list perceived threats from “low-orbit satellites,” 5G, and vaccine passports and named Bill Gates among those posing a threat to privacy and human autonomy. A video clip of Kennedy’s speech was shared to Twitter by NBC reporter Ben Collins.

The son of the assassinated liberal icon Robert Kennedy and the nephew of slain US president John Kennedy has been a vocal anti-vaxxer for years, peddling conspiracy theories and claiming that vaccines cause diseases like autism in children. Kennedy was kicked off of Instagram last year after he shared misinformation about vaccines on the platform.

The consensus in the scientific community rejects any link between vaccines and autism and maintains that side effects of vaccines are minimal.

The Twitter account for the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum in Poland responded to Kennedy’s comments in a tweet on Sunday. “Exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany – including children like Anne Frank – in a debate about vaccines & limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral & intellectual decay,” the account stated.

Kennedy has repeatedly utilized Holocaust-related metaphors to discuss his anti-vaccination stance. In his book about coronavirus vaccines released last year, Kennedy titled one chapter “Final Solution: Vaccines or Bust.” According to the Guardian, when asked about the title, Kennedy said: “I don’t think the vaccines have anything to do with eradicating the Jews.”

In 2015, Kennedy used the word “holocaust” to describe proposed legislation mandating vaccines for children and was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League. “I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word ‘holocaust’ to describe the autism epidemic,” Kennedy said at the time.

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