Dutch anti-lockdown protesters who dressed as Nazis and staged a mock execution of a Jew in a ‘demonstration’ against Covid-19 measures have sparked fury online.
The group were caught on camera dressed in Nazi outfits and pretending to shoot a kneeling man dressed in a concentration camp uniform with a Star of David on Saturday night.
A still from CCTV footage circulated online on Monday which appeared to show about ten protesters pretending to enforce lockdown rules in the Netherlands city Urk.
One viral image showed a man in Nazi military costume pointing a gun at the back of the ‘prisoner’s’ head with another revealing a man doing a Nazi salute while grinning at the camera.
Another image showed eight men in Nazi uniforms, one holding a fake weapon, two in long black leather trench coats, and three with drawn-on moustaches reminiscent of Adolf Hitler.
The group apologised for the stunt on Monday, making no mention of the pandemic and claiming they were attending a fancy dress party after the images caused outrage online.
Authorities said they were investigating whether a crime was committed at the demonstration against ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
One viral image showed a man in Nazi military costume pointing a gun at the back of the head of the prisoner, who was wearing a concentration camp uniform adorned with a yellow Star of David
Dutch anti-lockdown protesters have dressed as Nazis, pretended to enforce lockdown rules and staged a mock execution of a Jew in a stunt that has sparked fury online
An image posted online showed eight men in Nazi uniforms, one holding a fake weapon and two in long black leather trench coats
Comments on video site Dumpert branded the men ‘snorted brats’ and a ‘bunch of id***s’ and suggested it was good they were unvaccinated because they would die as a result of natural selection.
While annother read: ‘Shame on you, your grandfather and grandmother probably experienced the war!’
Cees van de Bos, the mayor of Urk, a predominantly Christian town with the lowest vaccination rate in the country at only 23 per cent, blasted protest, saying it ‘very clearly crossed a line’.
He said the apparent demonstration was ‘deeply abhorred by the entire community of Urk’, describing the stunt as ‘highly objectionable and highly inappropriate’.
He added: ‘We understand that these young people want to make their voices heard about the impact of the current and upcoming coronavirus measures,
‘However, we do not understand the way they are doing it. Not only the municipality of Urk, but the entire community completely disapproves of this way of protesting.’
The protesters have apologised for the stunt, saying ‘it was absolutely not our intention to arouse memories of the Second World war,
‘We want to emphasise that we are absolutely not anti-Semitic or against Jews, or support the German regime. Our sincere apologies.’
The protesters were later seen apparently partying at a bar with loud music. One man can be seen dancing vigorously to the music while another gives the Nazi salute in the background.
One of the protesters makes a Nazi salute as he poses in the German uniform ahead of a demonstration against ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in the Netherlands
The protesters were later seen apparently partying at a bar with loud music. One man can be seen dancing vigorously to the music while another gives the Nazi salute in the background
The men appeared to be enjoying themselves at a bar in Urk after the ‘demonstration’ on Saturday night
The group were protesting Covid-19 restrictions, which remain in place across the Netherlands. But it came days before the government announced it would further ease rules, by ending social distancing, but introducing a pass for bars, restaurants and festivals.
The pass showing proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus or a negative test will be needed for people aged 13 and over from September 25, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
Infection rates are falling in the Netherlands, which early in the pandemic had some of Europe’s most lax restrictions but drastically tightened up during a brutal second wave.
‘I’m glad to announce today that from September 25 the compulsory 1.5 metre social distancing rule will be dropped,’ Rutte told a televised press conference.
‘This means more people can visit a cafe or restaurant at the same time. It also means that festivals and sporting events outside can get back to full capacity.’
The Dutch government rejected criticism from people like the populist, coronasceptic politician Thierry Baudet who said the passes were an attempt to enforce vaccination.
‘No, using the corona admission ticket is not forcing anybody to get vaccinated. You can also use testing to get in somewhere and that for now remains free of charge,’ health minister Hugo de Jonge said.
The Netherlands will meanwhile still require masks on public transport and in airports, but not on train or tram platforms.