Kimmi Kappenberg, a two-time Survivor player, has drawn ire on social media recently for post a meme that compares the COVID-19 vaccine to being a Holocaust victim. Here’s what you need to know about the since-deleted post and why anti-vaxxers are comparing the vaccine to the Holocaust.
The Meme Puts ‘Vaccinated’ On a Star of David
Kappenberg has deleted her Facebook post, but fellow Survivor alum Max Dawson got a screenshot and posted it to Twitter, writing, “Add Kimmi Kappenberg to the list of disgusting former #Survivor contestants who casually invoke the Holocaust to make dangerous and demonstrably false claims about the COVID vaccine. Thanks for comparing two vaccine injections to the slaughter of six million, you garbage person.”
The comparison to vaccinations to being a Jewish person during the Holocaust actually predates the COVID pandemic. In 2019, the Washington Post wrote an article about how anti-vaxxers who were mad about measles vaccination rules started to wear replications of the Star of David, which Jewish people were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
These anti-vaxxers think being criticized for choosing not to vaccinate their children and being banned from some public spaces because of it means they are akin to the persecuted Jewish people during the Holocaust and the vaccine advocates are akin to the Nazis. There has been a different but similar meme circulating online that likens mask mandates to Jewish people being forced to wear a Star of David.
The current COVID-related meme that Kappenberg posted also features a chip on the Star of David, in reference to the debunked conspiracy theory (via BBC News) that the vaccinations contain microchips that will give companies or the government the ability to track you.
A number of Holocaust survivors spoke with NJ.com this past summer about the comparisons being made between the two events and they balked that anyone thinks the global pandemic is the same as the Holocaust because no one is actively trying to kill you. No one is choosing for you to die because of your religion.
“There’s no way you can compare the Holocaust to this,” said survivor Rosalie Simon, 88. “Six million Jews were killed. We can not compare that to this … If I want to stay safe, I obey the rules. Stay home.”
Holocaust survivor Maud Dahme added, “The most precious thing is to be alive. I realize now, I have a beautiful home. I have warmth. I don’t have to worry about somebody knocking on the door to take me away. Yes, there’s many inconveniences. But we’re here and we’re free.”
Survivor Fans Are None Too Happy With Kappenberg
In response to Dawson’s tweet, Survivor alum Jess “Sugar” Kiper responded with shock. One fan wrote, “It’s a shame cause I loved her and she was always so nice to me on social media.”
Big Brother winner and Kappenberg fan Andy Herren wrote, “Ugh this one stings but also f*** her. This is appalling.”
“This is very, very disappointing from Kimmi … disappointing to see Joel [Klug] liking it as well,” wrote another. Klug was a Survivor contestant on season one, though there is no way to tell from the tweet if Klug actually “liked” it or responded in a different way.
Another posted, “I hate that I’m not even surprised by this. So disgusting.”
Survivor will most likely not return until fall 2021 with season 41, which should begin filming in April.