A Kansas newspaper has come under fire for posting a cartoon on the weekly outlet’s Facebook page that compared the governor’s face-covering order in response to the coronavirus pandemic with the Holocaust.

The Anderson County Review, which is owned by Republican Party county chairman Dane Hicks, published a cartoon on Friday comparing the executive order signed the previous day by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, to require face masks or other face coverings to be worn in public to the situation of European Jews during World War II.

The black-and-white image, which has since been removed from the social-media page, shows Kelly wearing a facemask with a Star of David on it as Jews in the background board cattle cars to take them to concentration and death camps. A caption reads, “Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask … and step onto the cattle car.”

“Mr. Hicks’ decision to publish anti-Semitic imagery is deeply offensive, and he should remove it immediately,” said Kelly, a Catholic, in a statement.

The Anti-Defamation League immediately responded to the depiction.

“To compare COVID-19 rules to the slaughter of millions in the Holocaust is disgusting, wrong and has no place in our society. We call on The Anderson County Review to rescind this post immediately and apologize,” posted ADL national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on Sunday.

In a statement posted on The Anderson County Review’s Facebook page on Sunday, Hicks apologized.

“After some heartfelt and educational conversations with Jewish leaders in the U.S. and abroad, I can acknowledge the imagery in my recent editorial cartoon … was deeply hurtful to members of a culture who’ve been dealt plenty of hurt throughout history,” he said. “To that end, I am removing the cartoon with my apologies to those so directly affected. I appreciate the patience and understanding of those who convinced me to do so.”

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