The Holocaust : Trivialising or mocking the Holocaust, or any other historical example of Jewish suffering:
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Trivialising the Holocaust is a phenomenon which is very usual in discourse in many countries of the world; if something is undesirable even to a relatively trivial degree, it is often compared to the Nazis. Unfortunately, we frequently hear of ‘grammar Nazis’ or (a phrase which we find particularly obnoxious) ‘feminazis’. But the direct mocking of the plight of the victims of the Holocaust is, mercifully, rare although sadly not entirely non-existent. Here is one example.
The first picture shows a carnival parade in Campo de Criptana, south of Madrid, Spain, in February 2020. Behind these dancing men in their fake Nazi uniforms were people dressed in striped outfits designed to look like concentration camp clothing. Although permission was granted as a commemoration, the light-hearted treatment was utterly offensive. This is not something that can be described as a common phenomenon, and indeed would have been illegal in some countries, including Germany, where dressing up in Nazi clothing is prohibited other than for bona fide historical drama and other purely educational purposes; but a somewhat similar occurrence was seen in Aalst, Belgium some months earlier, where Orthodox Jews were caricatured ‘just for fun’ (see second picture).
The further examples below are of individuals trivialising the Holocaust. There has been a TikTok trend for young people to post videos of themselves dressed as Holocaust victims. For some this may be an attempt to imagine themselves into this situation, for others it is just a fashionable game. The person who photographed a rubber duck in front of his holiday snaps and did not desist when he reached Auschwitz has in fact subsequently apologised. Auschwitz is not a suitable subject for this sort of humour, even if it is just an attempt to cope with the distress caused by witnessing the camp. The problem is that such images are rapidly spread widely by social media.
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