Coronavirus: German foreign minister slams Covid protester’s Nazi resistance comparison

Heiko Maas says invoking of Sophie Scholl ‘mocks’ iconic dissident’s courage

Tom Embury-Dennis
Monday 23 November 2020 12:18 GMT
Covid protester speaks during demonstration in Hannover
Covid protester speaks during demonstration in Hannover (Youtube)

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has condemned comparisons between anti-lockdown dissenters and Nazi resistance icon Sophie Scholl.

It came after footage emerged over the weekend showing a young woman in Hannover telling fellow protesters she “feels like” Scholl, who founded the anti-Nazi resistance group White Rose with her brother in 1942.

“Anyone who compares themselves to Sophie Scholl or Anne Frank today is mocking the courage it took to take a stand against Nazis,” Mr Maas tweeted on Sunday, adding: “Nothing connects corona protests with resistance fighters. Nothing!”

In the clip, which was shared widely on social media, the woman says: “I feel like Sophie Scholl, since I've been active in the resistance, giving speeches, going to protests, distributing flyers.”

While the female protester is talking, a young security guard approaches the stage, saying repeatedly that, “I'm not going to be a security guard for this kind of idiocy”.

The woman looks at him in disbelief while he calls her speech “a trivialisation of the Holocaust”. He is ushered away by security and she throws down the mic in anger.

Several people protesting coronavirus restrictions in Germany that seek to tamp down new coronavirus infections have tried to depict themselves as victims of government persecution.

Some have even put on Stars of David, symbols that the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Third Reich before they killed them.

Scholl was executed in 1943 by the Nazis after being convicted of high treason for distributing anti-war flyers at a Munich university. She was 22.

She has since become an icon in Germany, where many schools and dozens of streets and squares have been named in honour of her and her brother Hans.

German officials have been widely praised for their handling of the pandemic. The country has so far reported fewer than 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths, around a quarter that of the UK’s.

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