Groups Object to Kennedy's 'Anne Frank' Comment

Anti-vax leader was arguing COVID restrictions violate individual rights
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 24, 2022 5:39 PM CST
Anne Frank Comparison Draws Outrage
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is shown on a large screen as he speaks Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. drew condemnation Monday for his suggestion that things are worse for people today than they were for Anne Frank, the teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp after hiding with her family in an Amsterdam house for two years. Several Jewish advocacy and Holocaust remembrance groups objected to Kennedy's remarks, the AP reports. "Making reckless comparisons to the Holocaust, the murder of six million Jews, for a political agenda is outrageous and deeply offensive," the US Holocaust Memorial Museum said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Kennedy made the comparison in a speech Sunday to protesters of vaccine mandates at the National Mall. A spokesman said the museum's statement was in response to Kennedy's speech and other recent incidents of people invoking the Holocaust for political purposes. The museum also pointed out that Anne Frank was one of the 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that Kennedy invoking Anne Frank's memory and the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis to make a comparison with the US government "working to ensure the health of its citizens is deeply inaccurate, deeply offensive and deeply troubling. This must stop."

In his speech, Kennedy complained that people's rights were being violated by public health measures that had been taken to reduce the number of people sickened and killed by COVID-19. He said the nation's leading infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, was orchestrating fascism. "Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did," said Kennedy, a nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of his slain brother, Robert F. Kennedy. An AP investigation last month detailed how Kennedy has invoked the specter of Nazis and the Holocaust to sow doubts about vaccines and agitate against public health efforts to bring the pandemic under control, such as requiring masks or vaccine mandates.

(Read more Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stories.)

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