UK lawmaker apologizes for evoking Nazi Germany during debate on virus measures

JTA — A lawmaker from the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party apologized for evoking Nazi Germany while criticizing restrictive measures meant to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marcus Fysh, a former business executive who entered parliament in 2015 as a representative of the Yeovil constituency in western Britain, made the apology in an op-ed published Monday in the Jewish Chronicle.

“I am sorry that during debate about the current COVID impositions being proposed I put forward my argument about what right a majority of people might have — in my view in a state of fear — to limit the fundamental rights of others, by saying that we are not Nazi Germany,” Fysh wrote.

Earlier this week, Fysh said on Radio 5 that he opposed the concept of a COVID passport – a document proving its carrier is vaccinated against COVID-19 – because, “We are not a ‘papers please society.’ This is not Nazi Germany.”

Fysh’s remark was one of many references to Nazism and the Holocaust by some critics of COVID-19 measures in Britain and beyond. Few of the people criticized for making the allusion have apologized.

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It was “a mistake for me to say this without being able to ensure full context and explanation, allowing my comment to be presented differently to what I meant and be hurtful to people,” said Fysh.

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