A Republican legislator in Connecticut faced a storm of criticism on Monday for comparing the problems faced by individuals who freely refuse to vaccinate against the COVID-19 pandemic with the plight of Jewish communities in Europe during the Holocaust.
In a Facebook post, State Rep. Anne Dauphinais compared Connecticut’s Governor, Ned Lamont, to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Dauphinais also accused Lamont of copying the horrifying medical abuses carried out by Nazi concentration camp doctors. Referring to the vaccine as “an experimental medicine, with unknown and untold side effects,” she claimed that Lamont was using his “dictatorial powers” to “force it … onto the public at large.”
Democrats, Jewish groups and the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League condemned the comparison between Lamont and Hitler and called for Dauphinais to apologize.
But in a follow-up post, Dauphinais doubled down on her comments, insisting that the comparison between Nazi genocidal antisemitism and the emergency public health measures undertaken in the US and other countries to combat a global pandemic that has taken the lives of over 700,000 Americans was “not antisemitic nor factually inaccurate.”
To justify her invocation of Nazi medical experiments that were grounded upon the physical torture and psychological humiliation of Jews, Roma, disabled people and other concentration camp prisoners, Dauphinais lifted a single sentence from an entry on the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) website, which noted that in the “German concentration camps of Sachsenhausen, Dachau, Natzweiler, Buchenwald, and Neuengamme, scientists used camp inmates to test immunization compounds and antibodies for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases, including malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis.”
Dauphinais refrained from citing elements of the same article that might contradict her position, such as the USHMM’s explanation that the medical experiments designed by the Nazis were part of a broader program of “racial health policies” that “began with the mass sterilization of many people in hospitals and other institutions and ended with the near annihilation of European Jewry.”
Also unmentioned by Dauphinais was the fact that concentration camp prisoners were deliberately exposed by Nazi experimenters to lethal toxins before antidotes were tested on them. According to the USHMM, “at Natzweiler and Sachsenhausen, prisoners were exposed to phosgene and mustard gas in order to test possible antidotes.”
Elsewhere in her post, Dauphinais drew an analogy between Gov. Lamont’s vaccination mandate for state-contracted workers and the expulsion of Jews by the Nazi regime from German civil service jobs, linking to a timeline of the Nazi persecution on the Jewish Virtual Library website.
Dauphinais’ anger was originally triggered by an article posted to Facebook on the recent firing of 12 Connecticut state employees who refused to get the vaccine or submit to weekly coronavirus testing.
Responding to Dauphinais, the activist group Stop Antisemitism declared on its Twitter feed: “Hitler was a genocidal maniac that systemically gassed, starved and murdered eleven million people. For State Rep. Anne Dauphinais to compare Gov. Ned Lamont to him in order to justify her own personal COVID stance is horrific and does nothing but whitewash the Holocaust!”