28 April 2022

It is a day to reflect on the millions who were murdered and to honour that suffering by ensuring that current and future generations know about the atrocities of the past to ensure that they never happen again.

Meeting the challenges presented by the pandemic over the past year has sadly seen a rise in anti-Semitic activity and a despicable appropriation of the Holocaust by some protesters. Local anti-vaccination activists have likened mandatory vaccines and lockdowns to the rise of Hitler, posted selfies wearing yellow stars and striped pyjamas as signs of protest and distributed stickers around Jewish neighbourhoods bearing swastikas and the words ‘No jab, no job’.

As Courage to Care New South Wales chairman Eitan Neishlos has said:

"The trivialisation of the Holocaust—an unparalleled human catastrophe—both dilutes and distorts vital historical lessons necessary to prevent such an event from ever happening again."

Sadly, these incidents do not occur in a vacuum.

They occur when some of those elected to this very Parliament not only turn a blind eye to these activities but embolden these groups when disgraceful comparisons are drawn between the actions taken in response to a one-in-100-year health emergency and the remorseless genocide of a population.

Social media posts showing the Premier as Hitler or drawing comparisons between the public health response to the pandemic and the litany of race-based laws passed in Nazi Germany are offensive, show a lack of understanding of history and are disrespectful to all others who have served in this place.