German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday criticized anti-lockdown protesters for trivializing the Holocaust.
Maas said people who compared themselves to Sophie Scholl in modern Germany “don’t care how much courage it took to show resistance to the Nazis.”
“It trivializes the Holocaust and shows unacceptable historical ignorance. Nothing links the coronavirus protests to resistance fighters. Nothing!” he wrote.
A video shared and widely ridiculed on social media showed a young woman giving a speech during a Querdenken anti-lockdown protest in the western city of Hanover on Saturday.
In the video, the woman, who identifies as “Jana de Kassel”, says that she “feels like Sophie Scholl, because for months I have been active in the resistance here, giving speeches, going to demos, distributing flyers “.
“I’m 22, just like Sophie Scholl when she was a victim of National Socialism,” said the woman.
A protest steward then interrupts him, handing him his fluorescent vest before saying, “I’m not a steward for bullshit like that.” The woman then throws down her microphone and storms off the podium.
The Querdenken (“lateral thinking”) movement has rallied thousands of people, including far-right extremists, in German cities in recent weeks to protest against measures to protect public health. The coronavirus pandemic has already killed millions of people around the world.
Sophie Scholl was executed in 1943
Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans, with whom she founded the White Rose movement in 1942, are considered one of Nazi Germany’s most important resistance fighters.
A student at the University of Munich, Scholl caused considerable uproar by writing and printing anti-Nazi flyers and distributing them in several major cities in Germany and Austria.
She was eventually found and captured by the Gestapo before being executed by guillotine in 1943. Dozens of streets and squares in Germany are now named after the Scholls and the White Rose group.