Students react to anti-vaxxers’ holocaust patches


Photo Courtesy of the Magnes Collection

Pictured above is an actual Jude patch from the Holocaust. The anti-vax patches encased the words “not vaccinated” and were sold in a shop in kansas.

Last month, multiple individuals protesting the COVID vaccine wore yellow stars, a symbol used in the holocaust to distinguish Jews, to a government hearing with the words “Not Vaccinated” written on the patches.

Following the event, which occurred on Friday Nov. 12, many instagram and twitter accounts spread the word about this shocking incident, leading many Walter Johnson students to find this information on their feed while scrolling through social media.

“I found out about this story through social media and then more through some organizations that I am a part of… I was completely speechless when I found out about what happened. I wasn’t surprised that something like this had happened knowing that there of been many comparisons of Covid to the holocaust recently, but seeing people with the stars made me realize how unaware of the world and the meaning behind the holocaust some people are,” senior Pearly Gal-edd said.

Many individuals have condemned this act and expressed their contempt and disgust at it.

“We’ve kind of continuously seen this sort of gross behavior from people who feel that they are entitled to endanger others for their own preference… I think it’s bad, I don’t like it, I really think that it should have surprised me, but it didn’t,” junior Talia Day said.

This event has ignited fear in the Jewish community, as some students feel threatened.

“I do feel unsafe knowing this. As a Jewish teen in this day and age, I know that antisemitism is real but seeing it to this degree makes me feel like I am unable to express myself and I fear for the repercussions that I may face,” Gal-edd said.

The individuals were portraying themselves as equal to the millions of Jewish victims who suffered and died in the holocaust, making this comparison simply due to the judgment they receive for choosing to remain unvaccinated amidst a global pandemic. The shop that produced these patches in early 2021, HatWRKS, had gone as far as to post a photo with the patches on their Instagram, expressing how “great they turned out.”

The comparison of a vaccine mandate to a genocide that killed over 6 million, though extreme, is not the first antisemitic act to have happened in 2021, and many are unsuprised by these events.

“I don’t feel any more unsafe than before. I wasn’t surprised, mostly because anti-Semitic rhetoric still exists everywhere. It never went away. This is another example of it in a public light, but it’s far from the first. I feel exactly as unsafe as I was before,” senior Andres Zalowitz said.