‘You are not promoting freedom, but promoting hate’: Holocaust survivor criticizes Joe Rogan in viral TikTok

‘It is disgusting and thoughtless and careless and I am shocked by your lack of sensitivity,’ 86-year-old author Gidon Lev says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 03 October 2021 19:24
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Joe Rogan shares video comparing Covid vaccine to the Holocaust

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A Holocaust survivor’s TikTok video has gone viral after he blasted podcaster Joe Rogan for sharing a video that used footage of the Holocaust accompanied by Mr Rogan’s voiceover speaking out against requirements for Covid vaccination proof.

“You are absolutely not promoting freedom, but promoting hate,” author Gidon Lev said in the video which addresses Mr Rogan directly.

“I am an 86-year-old-survivor of the Holocaust and saw your video on American freedom and the Covid-19 vaccine. It included images of the Holocaust and of Adolf Hitler, the monster who murdered my father, 26 members of my family, and 6 million Jews and others in gas chambers, in ditches, in firing squads, and even in gas trucks.

“You want to speak about freedom? You are absolutely not promoting freedom, but promoting hate, antisemitism, and possibly even more violence and constant hate. You should apologize to us all, remove the video immediately. It is disgusting and thoughtless and careless and I am shocked by your lack of sensitivity.”

Mr Lev posted two videos to account, thetrueadventures, which he runs with his partner and fellow writer Julie Gray. The videos have been viewed more than 576,000 times.

Mr Rogan posted a video on his Instagram account last week which drew a line between requirements for Covid vaccination proof and the Holocaust.

While Mr Rogan doesn’t speak of Nazi atrocities in the clip, historical footage of Jewish ghettos in Europe and marching Nazi officers, among other images, are accompanied by audio of Mr Rogan from a recent podcast episode.

Mr Rogan says:“As soon as you give politicians power, any kind of power that didn’t exist previously, if they can figure out a way to force you into carrying something that lets you enter businesses or lets you do this or lets businesses open, historically, they are not gonna give that power up.

“They find new reasons to use it. We have to protect those freedoms at all cost, whether you agree with people’s choices or not, because it is the foundation that this country was founded on: freedom.”

He added: “It is the literal structure that allows this country to be so f****** amazing. Anything that comes along that can inhibit your freedom is, by definition, anti-American.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Rogan for comment.

Ms Gray told The Daily Dot that Mr Rogan had not responded to Mr Lev.

Mr Lev was born in Carlsbad in then-Czechoslovakia in 1935. He was taken to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1941 with his parents. While his mother survived, his father was sent to Auschwitz and died during the death marches when the camp was evacuated before the Allies arrived.

Mr Lev survived the ordeal and left the camp at the age of ten in 1945. He ended up in Toronto, Canada before moving to Israel in 1959. Along with Ms Gray, he wrote The True Adventures of Gidon Lev: Rascal Holocaust Survivor Optimist.

“Our TikTok followers have been very supportive of Gidon’s message. Yet there are many who seem not to understand the weight and meaning of the visual cues that Rogan endorsed the use of in the video,” Ms Gray told The Daily Dot.

“Comments have run the gamut from extremely supportive and dismayed to outright antisemitic hatred and threats. To be honest, the comments that concern us the most are those that show a serious lack of knowledge of basic history combined with an inability to discern between historical facts and politicized distortions.”

The Holocaust was the genocide of European Jews during the Second World War orchestrated by Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler. Along with its collaborators, the Nazis systematically killed around six million Jews between 1941 and 1945.

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