Nazi Germany: an argument technique?

Comparisons to the holocaust seem rife today. Any attack on civil liberties is compared to the way the Nazis treated the Jews. Another example crops up today via the UK’s leading anti-vaccine site, JABS (no link love, search for it yourself).

The government is considering making vaccination compulsory for children as a way of improving the current low uptake of vaccines, including MMR. The low uptake is a problem; with vaccination rates below the level required for herd immunity measles outbreaks are starting to appear again. So what does JABS have to say about this?

Even raising the issue of compulsion is the thin end of the wedge. If vaccines are made mandatory before school age even with the most liberal of exemptions (i.e. parents allowed to opt out for whatever reason) then the genie will be out of the bottle and as the Americans have discovered, exemption conditions will be made increasingly more stringent until non-vaccinators find themselves treated not unlike the Jews in the early days of Hitler’s Germany.

(via Black Triangle, emphasis mine) (note that the comment was attributed to “Scotmum,” who may well not represent the official JABS point-of-view).

Admittedly your interpretation of this may depend on your personal viewpoint with regard to vaccination, but the commenter above seems somewhat morally bankrupt. I think that making comparisons between our democratic state and a system which arranged for the killing of six million innocent people is rather poor. If I were Jewish then I could see myself becoming quite cross. Kenneth Jacobson, of the Anti-Defamation League has this to say (admittedly about a different case):

From every side, I think the use of these kinds of holocaust analogies is counterproductive, disturbing, and offensive. People who use these kinds of arguments are trying to be deliberately provocative, knowing full well that the Holocaust is the epitome of evil in the world. But I think there’s a price to be paid, in terms of the offensive element for Holocaust survivors, and it also debases the currency of genocide. It trivializes what the Holocaust was about.

(via dot earth)

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