Herbert Kickl was a guest at ZIB2 yesterday, Tuesday. He was also approached by moderator Martin Thür about the corona demonstrations. Kickl defended those people who, during demonstrations against corona measures, compare unvaccinated people with Jews at the time of National Socialism. According to the head of the Freedom Party, they would only “express their criticism” and not play down the crimes of the Nazi era.
Herbert Kickl explained, “that National Socialism did not begin with a world war and not with any extermination camps, but rather it began with people being systematically excluded. He began by not allowing children to go to school because they were of Jewish descent, for example. When people are running around there with an Israeli flag, for example, they are not doing it because they glorify National Socialism, but because they want to express the criticism that is taking place here in the form of a scapegoat policy. And that is the point.”
At the demonstrations people appeared with “Jewish stars” and with signs “Vaccination makes you free”. The FPÖ chairman emphasized: “This is a criticism of National Socialism and nothing else at all.” And if that is a trivialization of National Socialism, “then I don’t want to know what it is when some political opponents of the Freedom Party describe me and others as National Socialists or as people who have an affinity for them.”
The reactions to Kickl’s appearance were not long in coming. Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) criticized the FPÖ boss and described it as “deeply shameful and unbearable” that Kickl did not distance himself from “anti-Semitic codes and hideous slogans”. With this, Kickl would legitimize the right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic incidents in corona demos.
Edtstadler demanded in a written statement to the Austria Press Agency (APA) that such statements must be withdrawn immediately. ” If “Jewish stars” with the inscription “not vaccinated” were worn and anti-Semitic ideas were spread, “a red line has been crossed”. Kickl is playing “in an irresponsible way with the fears and justified worries of many people who for various reasons are not yet convinced of the corona vaccination,” said Edtstadler.