Geraldine cafe under fire for comparing COVID-19 vaccine mandate to Holocaust

A cafe in the Canterbury town of Geraldine is under fire for comparing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate to the Holocaust.

A sign in the window of Q Foods in the town's main street was posted to Reddit and enraged users with what it said.

"Achtung [danger]! Authorities dictate that we need to comply with mandates," the sign says.

"Under this current facsist (sic) tyranny you are required to produce 'your papers' upon entering this premises (AKA an ever-expiring quaxine passport that you will need booster shots to keep current). You may choose to wear a yellow star for quicker verification."

Jewish people throughout Nazi-occupied Europe were forced to wear a badge of the yellow Star of David as a means of identification.

Reddit users called the sign "infuriating" and a "dumb argument".

"The Holocaust overtones are horrific. It honestly made my heart skip a beat," the person who posted the image said.

"It's awfully disrespectful towards people who have actually suffered. It totally goes over some people's heads their incredible privilege to not only have access to a vaccine, but also to turn it down if they wish," one user says.

"The owners of Q Foods don't know how lucky they are to live in a country where they can hold this attitude and not experience any consequences for it," another user says. "They're unlikely to get sick because of the diligence of the people around them, and they're unlikely to get a brick through their window because of the kindness and tolerance of the people around them. Blessings they do not deserve."

Q Foods did not respond to Newshub's request for comment.

Geraldine cafe under fire for comparing COVID-19 vaccine mandate to Holocaust
Photo credit: Reddit

The Jewish community has previously said how horrified they are about mandate protesters using Holocaust and Nazi imagery. After an anti-vaccination protest at Parliament in November - where at least one protester was reportedly wearing a Star of David with the word 'unvaccinated' - the Holocaust Centre of NZ said it was saddened to see it used there

"Over 80 years later here in New Zealand we are seeing the Star of David being misused for 'freedom' protests and protestors invoking the Holocaust for their own ends," they said. 

"If people wish to protest, they should do so without citing the industrialised genocide of 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million Jewish children, as the reason they need to do so."

Deborah Hart, chair of the centre, said it was "grotesque and deeply hurtful".

"If people are so ignorant of the Holocaust and what it actually was, and was not, they could contact the Holocaust Centre to arrange a visit… The Star of David is a beloved emblem of the Jewish people. It is bad enough that it was exploited by the Nazis to single out Jews for persecution, but now in a move of appalling cultural misappropriation, it’s being corrupted by the anti-vax movement for its own ends," she said.

"The protest movement and protesters should leave the Star of David where it belongs, with the Jewish people." 

Q Foods has previously expressed its opposition to vaccine mandates. On November 10 last year, they closed their business for the day in protest because "politics and business shouldn't be mixed".

"Sadly every aspect of individual life has been politicised and pushed upon business and the divisiveness is destroying the fabric of all lives," their Facebook post says.

An attached image to the post called on "every New Zealander who cares" to participate in "walk-out Wednesday" if they were "not happy with this Government".

At the orange traffic light setting, hospitality venues can open with no restrictions if they choose to only allow people with a My Vaccine Pass to enter. If they choose to allow anyone to visit, they can open for takeaways only and should follow the rules for retail stores.

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