(JTA) – The director of Ohio’s health department offered her enthusiastic support for issuing a certificate to those who can prove immunity to COVID-19 in order to reopen their businesses. The wife of a Republican Ohio state senator compared the idea to Nazi Germany. And her husband, Andrew Brenner, said “We won’t allow that to happen in Ohio.” Sara Marie Brenner posted April 21 on Facebook. “With a German accent, in your head say ‘show me your papers’ … This is downright scary!” she wrote. “You don’t issue people certificates to be able to function outside their home. … This actually feels like Hitler’s Germany where you had to have blonde hair and blue eyes to be able to function anywhere, and you were damned otherwise. When are people going to say enough is enough?” The post was removed the next day amid criticism from both Democratic and Republican officeholders in Ohio.
Sara Brenner also posted and later deleted a photo of an apparent Nazi concentration camp with the message: “If people were told to get in cattle cars to be taken to virus protection camps, most of you would rush to get in line …,” the Ohio Capital Journal reported.
On Saturday, an anti-lockdown protester at a rally at the state capitol held an antisemitic sign that showed the head of a Jewish man on the body of a rat with the words “The Real Plague.” Gov. Mike DeWine in a statement also posted on Twitter, condemned the protester’s sign and the Brenners’ posts. DeWine called the sign “vile and disgusting.” He said the Brenners’ posts showed “a complete lack of understanding of the Holocaust – made even more offensive by posting on Holocaust Memorial Day – and was a slur on a good, compassionate, and honorable person who has worked non-stop to save lives and protect her fellow citizens.”
Andrew Brenner in a statement Wednesday, April 22, said “What I actually said was not the same as what is being reported,” and apologized to Acton “because I’m sure she was offended by the comments as they were reported.” On Thursday, he also apologized to the Jewish community.
Main Photo: Sara Marie Brenner (Youtube screenshot)