McGrath criticised for comparing Covid certificates to Nazi Germany

Auschwitz Memorial shares seven-part online Holocaust course with Independent TD

Independent TD Mattie McGrath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Independent TD Mattie McGrath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has been criticised by the Auschwitz Memorial for comparing the Government’s system of Covid-19 certificates to Nazi Germany.

Mr McGrath made the comments in reaction to the Government’s reopening plan, under which people will have to show proof of vaccination or recent Covid-19 recovery to access indoor hospitality.

The Government’s new Digital Covid Certificates, which Ireland and other European Union countries are implementing to facilitate international travel, can be used as evidence of being fully vaccinated.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr McGrath said: “Is that what we have come to now. Are we back to 1933 in Germany? We’ll be all tagged in the yellow and the mark of the beast will be on us.”*

Asked at the time if the comparison was an appropriate one to make, Mr McGrath insisted it was.

The official account of the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum – which preserves the site of the former concentration and extermination camp – tweeted the TD on Tuesday afternoon, sharing a seven-part free online course about the history of the Holocaust, titled Holocaust – the destruction of European Jews.

“Instrumentalization of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the hateful totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline,” said the memorial in a follow-up tweet.

Mr McGrath made the comparison while speaking with the media, alongside Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae. Both TDs were outlining their opposition to the proposed legislation.

Mr McGrath and Mr Healy-Rae said the requirement for people to disclose if they been vaccinated was an infringement on civil liberties.

*This article was amended on July 13th, 2021