NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says anti-vaccination activists are using the yellow Star of David that Nazis forced Jews to wear during World War II to promote their cause.
They’ve replaced the word for “Jew” written in Hebraic style with “No Vax” on the badges and are spreading the modified symbols on social media.
Some activists are even pinning them to their lapels at events.
One activist opposing the use of vaccines on children and producer of the film “Vaxxed,” Del Bigtree wore a yellow star during a rally held by Texans for Vaccine Choice at the Texas State Capitol in Austin this year.
A previous version of this story reported that ADL said Bigtree was wearing a “NO VAX” star. While ADL says the star is clearly being used in conjunction with protests against vaccination, Bigtree tells CBS DFW that his star did not have the words “NO VAX” on it and that it was worn ‘in solidarity with the Hasidic Jewish community in Rockland County.’
It’s “hugely inappropriate,” says the ADL, given the yellow badges are an enduring symbol of the persecution of Jews by the Nazis during World War II and minimizes and trivializes the experiences of the survivors and victims of the Holocaust.
The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else.
It allowed for the easier facilitation of their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews.
Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death. For example, the Jewish Council (Judenrat) of the ghetto in Bialystok, Poland announced that “… the authorities have warned that severe punishment – up to and including death by shooting – is in store for Jews who do not wear the yellow badge on back and front.”
The ADL was founded in 1913 to stop anti-Semitism.