UK lawmaker slammed for comparing vaccine mandates, Nazi Germany

MP Marcus Fysh, of the Conservative Party, is an outspoken opponent of vaccine mandates, though maintains he is not anti-vaccine. 

 Conservative MP Marcus Fysh (illustrative). (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Conservative MP Marcus Fysh (illustrative).
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A British lawmaker has come under fire for comparing Nazi Germany with plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccine mandates in some capacity in the United Kingdom, UK media reported.

MP Marcus Fysh, of the Conservative Party, is an outspoken opponent of vaccine mandates, though maintains he is not anti-vaccine. 

The vaccine mandate in question is set to be rolled out Wednesday if Parliament gives it the green light.

Speaking to BBC 5 Live on Monday, Fysh criticized the mandate, saying “We are not a ‘papers please’ society. This is not Nazi Germany, okay?”

When the host pointed out that there was a "long, long way" between the policies of the totalitarian Nazi regime during the Holocaust and a vaccine mandate, Fysh said that it was “the thin end of an authoritarian wedge and that’s why we will resist it.”

This is not the first time that Fysh has referred to the vaccine mandates as authoritarian, and has repeatedly stated that the mandates "don't actually work."

His recent comments sparked backlash from lawmakers, experts and Jewish organizations in the UK.

"When will we ever learn?" tweeted Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge.

"Let's hope 2022 is the year when we stop making flippant comparisons to the Nazis."

According to fellow Jewish Labour MP Alex Sober, Fysh's remarks are "Utterly shameful."

"Maybe Marcus might want to rethink his votes on stripping people of their citizenship, banning the right to protest and requiring ID to vote stripping many of their democratic rights," he tweeted.

"Finally only compare Nazis to actual Nazis."

Human rights advocate and COVID law expert Adam Wagner also came out against these comments.

"It's certainly not Nazi Germany, where there was state-sponsored mass murder, ghettos, torture, death camps and the literal dehumanization and genocide of entire ethnic and other groups," Wagner tweeted. 

"Let's not inadvertently trivialize this important debate through ridiculous comparisons."

Condemnation also came from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the leading Jewish umbrella organization in the UK.

"It is completely unacceptable to compare the proposed vaccine passports with Nazi Germany," stated Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl. 

"We urge people, particularly those in positions of authority, to avoid these highly inappropriate comparisons."

Fysh is not the only lawmaker around the world to compare COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the measures of Nazi Germany.

In the US, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has repeatedly made such comparisons.

“They’re ruining our country, these vaccine Nazis,” she said in an interview on Steve Banon's podcast.

Greene has come under fire several times for comments drawing comparisons between coronavirus public health measures and the Holocaust. In May, she compared a mask mandate for unvaccinated members of Congress to forcing Jews to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany.

“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said at the time, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star. And they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”