THE HAGUE, Netherland – A judge on Wednesday ordered Dutch right-wing populist lawmaker Thierry Baudet to remove four tweets in which he compared coronavirus lockdown measures and the treatment of Jews under the Nazi regime, saying they were “instruments” for Jewish suffering.
Two Jewish organizations and a group of Holocaust survivors have taken to the court in Amsterdam to demand that the tweets be removed, describing them as “seriously offensive and needlessly injuring the victims”. Holocaust victims, survivors and loved ones.”
Among the tweets, one called those who weren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus “new Jews, anti-Semitists look the other way, are Nazis and new NSBers.” NSB is an acronym for the National Socialist Movement, the Dutch branch of the Nazi party.
“The comparisons you make in the controversial posts go beyond what can be justified for the sake of strong public debate,” said the judge who heard the case. The judge’s name was not immediately available.
“By equating in the messages, without any nuances, the plight of unvaccinated citizens with the fate of the Jews in the 1930s and ’40s, you can compare, like me said earlier, that is in fact wrong and you misused it, in other words the judge added.
The court ordered Baudet to delete the tweets from his Twitter feed within 48 hours. If not, he has to pay 25,000 euros ($28,000) a day to keep them online.
In a response on Twitter, Baudet called the ruling “Crazy, incomprehensible.”
“We get angry and go to war. And of course we will appeal,” he wrote on Twitter.
Baudet is the leader of the right-wing populist Party for Democracy, which has five seats in the lower house of the Dutch Parliament.
The Jewish groups that started the civil lawsuit against Baudet welcomed the ruling, saying in a statement that it “made an important contribution to pointing out the limits of public debate.”