FvD slammed for saying Covid lockdown is akin to WWII occupation
A poster co-produced by far-right nationalist political party FvD and widely distributed on social media Sunday and Monday has been slammed for being divisive, insensitive and anti-Semitic. The poster suggested that Dutch social and political policies meant to help slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was comparable to the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The Netherlands was liberated from the occupation on May 5, 1945, when German forces surrendered. The poster released by the FvD wants the public to reminisce about the decades of freedom gained after the war, but which it says was lost last year.
”On May 5 we memorialize 75 years of freedom,” the poster stated, followed by the dates of birth and death for that freedom, "1945-2020". The year 2020 is preceded by a death dagger on the poster, which was also signed by coronavirus skeptic group Viruswaarheid and alleged citizen advocacy organization ANBB. On Instagram, the controversial poster was posted alongside the caption which read, "Since March last year, the freedoms for which our grandparents fought for, have been increasingly restricted. That is why we memorialize May 5 and stand together for freedom."
Members of numerous political parties from the left, right and center, and organizations have condemned the poster which FvD, led by Thierry Baudet, published on its social media channels. CIDI, a pro-Israel organization which also lobbies for the human rights of Jewish people in the Netherlands, criticized the poster saying it was insensitive to use the context of the Second World War for the FvD's current political goals.
"It is unheard of and unacceptable. It shows a lot of disrespect towards everyone who has lived through the war. It is terribly wrong," said CIDI director Hanna Luden.
Instead of responding to the criticism, Baudet tried to flip the argument with the common logical fallacy of accusing anyone who denounced his message of being hypocritical. "For decades, our opponents have been politicizing the war to justify mass immigration, European power fantasies and modern art. Now we are saying, 'On May 5, shall we also reflect on the freedoms that we lost in 2020/2021?' That’s not okay? What hypocrisy."
"How sad are you to abuse the immense suffering of so many people, a pitch-black period in our history, to get attention? It's disgusting and I hope everyone speaks out against it," said SP leader Lilian Marijnissen.
"We think it is very inappropriate," said a spokesperson for the Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei to NOS. The group is tasked with organizing national memorials for Remembrance Day on May 4, and Liberation Day on May 5.
“There is a special responsibility on MPs, on ministers, to set a good example, and not let their words be poisonous," reads a quote from Arnon Grunberg, who spoke at last year's Remembrance Day speech. D66 leader Sigrid Kaag shared the quote on her Twitter account, with a message calling the poster yet another "low point."
Former VVD parliamentarian Ton Elias wants his party members in politics to demand the FvD apologize before taking part in any debate with them. "Don't ignore it because otherwise they will be a martyr, that's what they already do. Stress facts, over and over again."
Laurens Dassen, of Dutch political newcomers Volt, said, "What a disgusting and filthy way of taking advantage of the tremendous suffering of many in this way."