IHRA Chair’s Statement on Holocaust distortion at “Querdenker” demonstrations

IHRA Chair Ambassador Küchler condemns rising trends of Holocaust distortion at the ‘Querdenker’ demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions in Germany.

IHRA Chair Ambassador Küchler states, “It is simply unacceptable to compare the inconveniences brought about by coronavirus measures with any part of the persecution and murder of Europe’s Jews. Doing so scorns the memory of the millions of victims of the Holocaust. I strongly condemn the Holocaust distortion and antisemitic conspiracy myths gaining traction at so-called ‘Querdenker’ demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions around Germany. Comparisons between coronavirus measures and the 1933 Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz), or social distancing guidelines and the horrors experienced by Anne Frank and Sophie Scholl are not only outrageous; they twist our understanding of what led up to the Holocaust and the enormity of its devastation. Such comparisons erode our understanding of historical truth.

“The importance of remembering the Holocaust, of respecting the victims, of safeguarding the record – all fundamental to preserving democratic values – only grows as the memory of the Holocaust grows more distant and fewer survivors are with us to share their testimony. The ‘Querdenker’ demonstrations remind us of our responsibility to counter distortion and to insist upon truth in these challenging times. It is with this responsibility in mind that the German Presidency of the IHRA has made the fight against Holocaust distortion an urgent priority.”