An Arizona state representative is scrambling to head off criticism after he compared coronavirus restrictions that require the wearing of protective masks to the tattooing of Holocaust victims by the Nazis.
Rep. John Fillmore, who is vice chairman of the state House’s Education Committee, spoke at a protest held on Monday in front of the State Capitol in Phoenix against ongoing coronavirus regulations, including the use of masks.
“It’s reminiscent of the 1930s in Germany, when people on their own bodies were tattooed,” Fillmore said of the mask requirement.
Local NBC affiliate Channel 12 News spoke to Fillmore, who sought to defend himself against criticism, saying, “Laws, rules and regulations will be started from fear, fanned by opportunists, which shall wrap us up in forced or mandatory vaccinations, lockdowns and drastic fear-laden draconian rules.”
“No government should ever have any right to, nor the ability to, say to its citizens they must ingest, take, inject or drink any serum into their own (or without parental consents their child’s) bodies or tattoo on their bodies as the Germans did in the Holocaust in the 1930s,” he added.
However, Fillmore issued a more apologetic official statement, saying, “I have and had never meant to denigrate or belittle in any way the atrocities of what happened in the Holocaust and perhaps that was a bad analogy. I did say it though, and I assume full responsibility for it.”
“I do not apologize for what I said though and now see that perhaps there might have been a better analogy,” he continued. “I am not responsible for how others see this or feel about it. It is what they want it to be, to me, it was the words I used and take responsibility for but I never meant ill will in my statements and meant no harm.”
Channel 12 News spoke with Holocaust survivor Alexander White, one of those saved by Oskar Schindler, who said Fillmore’s statements were “completely out of line.”
“How do you compare the two, it doesn’t make sense,” White commented. “During the Holocaust, you had to wear the armband, you had to wear the striped shirt.”
“One was something you were forced to do, and if you didn’t do it you were shot,” he pointed out. “Here, most they can do is take you to court.”
“He did apologize that his statement makes no sense, so I can forgive him for that,” White added, referring to Fillmore.