Russian Jewish Congress outraged after actor compares Covid restrictions with Holocaust


Eastern Europe


Yuri Kanner. photo Wikipedia Commons

Yuri Kanner, President of the Russian Jewish Congress, expressed his anger on Yegor Beroev. The Russian actor compared restrictive measures for people unvaccinated from Covid-19 with the Holocaust.

Kanner told Russian news outlet RIA Novosti that he is willing to take the actor on a tour of Holocaust-related places in Moscow. “I’m ready to give him an excursion; I’ll even find something to show him around in Moscow. And if he still believes that people who have not taken a vaccine are in a state of persecution, then he doesn’t know at all what is happening in the world”, Kanner said.

During a speech at an award ceremony on June 22th, actor Yegor Beroev spoke in defence of people who have not taken a vaccine against coronavirus. During the speech, Beroev attached a yellow star, similar to those that the Nazis forced Jews to wear in the Second World War, on his jacket.

Beroev said that he did not take a vaccine against the coronavirus. In recent days he had felt that he lives in a world where vaccination “has become an identification mark.” The actor, recalling the struggle of the Soviet people against fascism, urged to prevent the division of people into vaccinated and unvaccinated. “I ask you, do not allow the segregation of society into white and black, Jews and non-Jews, vaccinated and unvaccinated. It already happened once. And our grandfathers paid in blood to prevent this from happening again”, said Beroev according to the Riga-based Russian online newspaper Meduza.

Although Kanner acknowledges the vast amounts of lives lost in the pandemic, he thinks the current crisis is incomparable with the tragedy of the Holocaust for the Jewish people. “There were 15 million Jews in the world. Six million of them were killed. Today, the world with a multi-billion population lost several million people during a pandemic”, he said to RIA Novosti.

Kanner also expressed concern about the scale of the anti-vaccination movement in Russia and the resulting “split in society.” At the same time, in his opinion, restrictive measures against those who have not been vaccinated help to achieve an increase in the number of vaccinations and the acquisition of herd immunity.


On June 22th, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin restricted the access of people who had not been vaccinated against coronavirus to cafes, restaurants and bars. From June 28th, only those who have completed the coronavirus vaccination, have tested positive for Covid in the past six months, or have received a negative PCR test for coronavirus will be able to visit institutions -- they will receive the corresponding QR codes. In addition, the Moscow authorities have limited the number of concerts, performances, movie shows, sports events, allowing up to 500 participants to attend, but this requirement does not apply if they are allowed to go there using QR codes.

“Similar rules for visiting restaurants and cafes have been in effect for several months in many European and Asian cities,” Sobyanin wrote on his personal website, according to The Moscow Times.

“It’s time for Moscow to adapt their experience if we want to avoid a new and highly undesirable lockdown,” said the mayor of the metropolis of 12 million people.



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