German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday slammed anti-lockdown protesters for trivializing the Holocaust.
Maas said people who compared themselves to Sophie Scholl in modern Germany “mock the courage that it took to show resistance to the Nazis.”
“That trivializes the Holocaust and shows an unacceptable historical ignorance. Nothing connects the coronavirus-protests with resistance fighters. Nothing!” he wrote.
A video shared and widely ridiculed on social media showed a young woman giving a speech at a Querdenken anti-lockdown protest in the western city of Hannover on Saturday.
In the video, the woman, who identifies herself as “Jana from Kassel,” says she “feels like Sophie Scholl, because for months I have been active in the resistance here, giving speeches, going to demos, giving out flyers.”
“I’m 22 years old, just like Sophie Scholl when she fell victim to National Socialism,” the woman says.
A steward at the demonstration then interrupts her, handing her his fluorescent vest before saying, “I’m not being a steward for bullshit like this.” The woman then flings down her microphone and storms off the podium.
The Querdenken (“lateral thinking”) movement has rallied thousands of people, including far-right extremists, to German cities in the past few weeks to protest measures intended to protect public health. The coronavirus pandemic has already killed millions of people worldwide.
A student at Munich university, 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 tracked down 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.