LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11/WTVQ) — A social media post by a Kentucky political party is stirring debate and outrage across the country.
The Libertarian Party of Kentucky tweeted a comparison between COVID-19 vaccine passports and badges Jewish people were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.
“Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes,” the tweet read.
The tweet, published Monday, has more than 9,000 responses — including comments from the Auschwitz Memorial and Jewish actor Seth Rogen.
“Instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and finally isolated in ghettos and murdered during the Holocaust in a debate about vaccines that save human lives is disrespectful to victims & a sad symptom of moral decline,” the Auschwitz Memorial responded.
Matthew Goldberg, director of community relations at the Jewish Federation of Louisville, said he was shocked and outraged by the tweet.
“Vaccines are meant to save lives and the wearing of the yellow stars were meant to denigrate and humiliate, clearly these comparisons should not be made,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg said any reference to the Holocaust is inappropriate unless it is a conversation about another genocide.
“We have Holocaust survivors in our community here in Louisville, here in the state of Kentucky, that are still alive today they should not be witnessed to these kinds of comments,” Goldberg said.
On Wednesday, the Libertarian Party of Kentucky posted a thread on its Twitter page saying it got the comparison backwards and admitting it was insensitive, especially amid Passover.
Libertarian Party of Kentucky Chair Randall Daniel said the party was attempting to explain that vaccine passports are a violation of human liberty.
“More often when the government comes out with a policy that they think is good it can have lasting consequences,” Daniel said.
The party tweeted that the Holocaust was evil and “we want to prevent atrocities like it” by speaking out against tyranny.
Both the Louisville Jewish Federation and Libertarian Party of Kentucky said they are willing to meet and have a conversation.
The Louisville Jewish Federation is inviting people to its annual commemoration of the Holocaust April 8.
This year’s Yom HaShoah virtual commemoration will include a film by the grandchildren of Ann and Sandor Klein — the former a Holocaust survivor who became the inspiration for a state law mandating Holocaust education in Kentucky.