Thierry Baudet loses appeal for comparing unvaccinated people to Holocaust victims
The Amsterdam Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from December 2021 ordering the leader of Dutch far-right political party FvD to remove posts on social media that drew comparisons between the country's coronavirus policy and the Holocaust. In ruling against Thierry Baudet, the Court said that the rights of Holocaust survivors and their relatives have precedence over freedom of expression.
The ruling concerns a case brought by four Jewish survivors of World War II, Jewish and Israel advocacy group CIDI, and the CJO, a Jewish lobbyist organization based in Amsterdam. The case was filed after Baudet published statements on social media in November 2021. He said, in one instance, that unvaccinated people "are the new Jews, those looking away are the new Nazis and NSB members."
Baudet also placed three photos side by side. The first was of a child with a Star of David waiting for deportation. The second was a photo which Baudet claimed was an unvaccinated child unable to attend a Sinterklaas party. The third was a photo of a child being dried off outside of a swimming pool building after swimming lessons had ended as the changing rooms were closed due to the pandemic. In 2021, the Amsterdam preliminary relief judge said such comparisons are flawed. "There was no possibility for Jews to gain access with a vaccination or test," said the judge.
On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals said it agreed with the earlier ruling. The coronavirus measures cannot be equated with the fate of the Jews during the Holocaust. According to the court, Baudet's posts promote "downplaying the Holocaust" and may have also caused "the spread of anti-Semitic statements on the internet."
CIDI said it was pleased with the ruling, and noted that the court emphasized that the comparisons Baudet drew at the time are "completely flawed." Neither Baudet nor his political party, Forum voor Democratie, have responded to the court's ruling.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times