A country Republican party in Minnesota posted a meme over the weekend that compared the state mandate to wear a face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic to Jews being forced to wear a yellow Star of David during the Holocaust.

The Republican Party of Wabasha County reportedly removed the post from its Facebook page by Monday evening. The group told the state Republican Party that it had been hacked.

The meme shows an elderly prisoner being told by a Nazi officer to wear the yellow Star of David.

“Just put on the star and quit complaining, it’s really not that hard,” read the meme’s caption. “Just put on the mask and stop complaining.”

Minnesota Jewish groups slammed the Republican Party of Wabasha County for the meme.

“It’s a disgrace to the memory of World War II veterans, as well as survivors of the Holocaust and anybody that fought,” executive director Steve Hunegs of the Jewish Community Relations Council told the Associated Press.

Yellow Star of David worn by Jews during the Holocaust. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“Typhus, disease, starvation and the like as a prelude to extermination. And compare it to an order whose goal is to preserve public health to the highest degree possible. It’s awful to make such comparisons,” said Hunegs.

“Given that Minnesota rabbis recently spoke out in favor of a mask mandate, comparing that mandate to the Holocaust feels especially disgusting. We ask the @MNGOP to tell Wabasha Republicans to stop using imagery like this. It betrays a total lack of both empathy and education,” tweeted Jewish Community Action on Monday.

Later that day, Minnesota GOP chairperson Jennifer Carnahan retweeted Jewish Community Action’s post and added, “This post was brought to @mngop’s attention today. Immediately we reached out to the Wabasha board. They believe this was a hack and are removing their FB page immediately. Our party does not support/condone divisive and harmful posts or language of this nature.”

The statewide face-mask requirement took effect on July 25.

That day, a couple donned Nazi swastika-flag face masks at a Walmart in Marshall, Minn.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.