Dr. Kathrin Meyer, IHRA Executive Secretary, comments: “The annual carnivals in Aalst and Campo de Criptana, featuring antisemitic and Nazi-themed displays and floats, are deeply offensive to the Jewish community and to Holocaust victims, survivors and their families. The tradition of carnival has typically focused on mocking powerful institutions such as the church or the state – not on humiliating minority groups who are once again being threatened and murdered throughout Europe.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) works tirelessly to counter Holocaust distortion and antisemitism and this year’s parades were unacceptable with their historically stereotypical representations of Jewish people and members dressed in SS uniforms. We commend Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes' and the town council of Campo de Criptana for their clear condemnation of these events and we call on the carnival organizers and the cities to ban such displays in future. We also commend the Campo de Criptana carnival group for its immediate apology and willingness to engage in a conversation with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain about how to avoid trivialization and distortion of the Holocaust. The IHRA will continue to work with all Member Countries to ensure such examples of antisemitism are not repeated.”