The Auschwitz Museum in Poland slammed Fox host Lara Logan on Tuesday, following comments she made on Fox News, in which she compared Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. public health official on infectious diseases, to Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor who was nicknamed the “angel of death.”
“And so, in that moment, what you see on Dr. Fauci, this is what people say to me, that he doesn’t represent science to them, he represents Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps,” Logan, the host of the eponymous "Lara Logan Has No Agenda" show on streaming service Fox Nation, declared during an appearance on Fox News Primetime on Monday.
“And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this because the response from COVID, what it has done to countries everywhere, what it has done to civil liberties, the suicide rates, the poverty – it has obliterated economies – the level of suffering that has been created because of this disease is now being seen in the cold light of day, i.e. the truth, and people see that there is no justification for what is being done.”
In response, the museum, which maintains the site of the infamous Nazi death camp in southern Poland where over 1.1 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, stated that “exploiting the tragedy of people who became victims of criminal pseudo-medical experiments in Auschwitz in a debate about vaccines, pandemic and people who fight for saving human lives is shameful.”
Such rhetoric is “disrespectful to victims” as well as “a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline,” the museum said in a tweet.
In his role as a physician at Auschwitz, Mengele selected which prisoners would be used for forced labor and which would be sent immediately to the gas chambers. He also performed what the Israeli Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem has described as “horrific pseudo-scientific medical experiments performed on camp prisoners, whose purpose it was to prove the superiority of the Aryan race.”
Logan has a history of sharing conspiracy theories online, having tweeted that mainstream media outlets are reporting misinformation about the pandemic in order to “spread fear/panic which ‘justifies’ stricter controls which guarantee the collapse of world economies” and claiming that her ideological opponents have taken “a leaf out of the Goebbels/Nazi playbook.”
Comparisons of vaccine campaigns and mask mandates to the Holocaust have grown increasingly common on the right, with many activists wearing yellow stars patterned on those worn by Jews during the Holocaust to anti-vaccine protests and other public meetings.
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The American Jewish Congress has claimed that a number of far-right Republican lawmakers, such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar and Scott Perry are using antisemitism as a tool to mobilize extremism for their own political power.
In early July, less than a month after issuing a public apology for repeatedly comparing coronavirus protections to the Holocaust, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene accused Joe Biden's administration of using vaccination as “a political tool used to control people,” tweeting that Americans “don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations.”
Several days later, Greene’s colleague, GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, compared U.S. federal COVID-19 vaccination efforts to Nazism, tweeting that Joe Biden “has deployed his Needle Nazis” to her Colorado district.
Boebert has also previously used the term “brown shirts” to refer to the enforcement of public health measures by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is Jewish.
In August, flyers with pictures of Hawaii lieutenant governor Josh Green emblazoned with the words “Jew” and “fraud” were plastered on walls during protests outside his Honolulu home against new public health measures meant to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Also in August, John Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, posted a video online in which he also compared vaccine requirements in businesses and public spaces to the Nazis' use of yellow stars to identify Jews, sparking widespread condemnation, including from high-profile Republicans.
Several weeks later, Heidi Sampson, a Republican state representative in Maine, came under criticism after publicly declaring that “we have Josef Mengele and Joseph Goebbels being reincarnated here in the state of Maine” in reference to Governor Janet Mills and her sister, who is the current head of MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care provider.
In another such case, Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted a meme comparing COVID restrictions to the treatment of prisoners in concentration camps during the Holocaust, which featured an image of a hand raised in a fist with a tattooed number visible on the wrist.
The photograph was captioned, in bold capital letters, with “IF YOU HAVE TO CARRY A CARD ON YOU TO GAIN ACCESS TO A RESTAURANT, VENUE, OR EVENT IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY… THAT’S NO LONGER A FREE COUNTRY.”
And in October, Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker cancelled a planned fundraising event after it emerged that the host was using an image of a swastika as her profile picture on social media.
The cancellation came only hours after Walker's campaign defended the hosts' use of the image that featured several needles laid out in the shape of the Nazi symbol which it described as “clearly an anti-mandatory [COVID-19] vaccination graphic.”
Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center also denounced Logan's comments. In a statement, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan stated that his organization "strongly condemns the use - by both organizations and individuals - of the Holocaust, its images and characters associated with it, to further agendas and causes of any kind that are totally unrelated to the Holocaust."
"Manipulating the Holocaust in this way," he said, "trivializes the horrific atrocities that were perpetrated, and denigrates the memory of the victims and the survivors."
The Associated Press and JTA contributed to this report