"Bad taste meets ignorance" says Liliana Segre.
Italian life senator and Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre has slammed comparisons between Italy's Green Pass regulations and the persecution of Jews by Nazis.
The 90-year-old, who survived the horrors of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz after being deported there at the age of 13, said it was "madness" to equate Jewish persecution with Italy's covid restrictions.
Segre, who recently received honorary citizenship of Rome, told Jewish newspaper Pagine Ebraiche that such comparisons were "gestures in which bad taste meets ignorance."
Her remarks come amid protests across Italy against the so-called Green Pass, a covid vaccine certificate that will be required - from 6 August - for indoor dining in restaurants and bars as well as being mandatory for access to museums, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools and sports stadiums.
During the recent wave of 'no-vax' protests against Italy's so-called "health dictatorship", some demonstrators have waved banners with swastikas and worn yellow stars resembling those the Nazis forced Jews to wear.
In February, after receiving her first dose of the covid vaccine, Segre encouraged her peers to get vaccinated and "not to be afraid."
Her appeal sparked a wave of anti-Semitic insults on social media which Italy's interior minister Luciana Lamorgese denounced as a “new and unacceptable attack” marked by “a very dangerous mix of hate, violence and racism.”
Last year the Milan-born Segre was placed under police protection after being subjected to a barrage of abuse, including death threats, after she called for a parliamentary commission to investigate and combat all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, incitement to hatred and violence on ethnic and religious grounds.
One of the few Italian Jewish children to survive deportation to a Nazi death camp, Segre was made a senator for life in 2018, an honour in tribute to her years of speaking about the Holocaust.
Cover photo ANSA