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A man who spent four years in a concentration camp has criticised a TikToker who appeared to compare being unvaccinated to the Holocaust.
TikTok user and Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev and his partner Julie have racked up more than 107,000 followers online after they first started sharing videos last year, with Gidon regularly reflecting on his memories of the Holocaust and telling users about his experience.
This weekend, Gidon shared a TikTok in response to another user who expressed their excitement to jump on a ‘new trend’ before taking off a hat to reveal her shaved head underneath.
As she removed the hat, the TikToker, who went by the handle @carollynnthechristian, said, ‘I’m calling it ‘first day at an unvaccinated camp’.’
Carollyn’s TikTok account now appears to have been deleted, but her comments remained on Gidon’s ‘duet’, in which he responds to the clip.
Addressing Carollyn, he said, ‘Shame on you. Are you trying to look like a Holocaust survivor because you don’t want to be vaccinated?’
See Gidon’s response below:
Gidon displayed the star he was forced to wear while at the concentration camp, asking, ‘You want me to help you?’
Though it’s unclear whether Carollyn made direct reference to the Holocaust or concentration camps on her own account, her apparently describing a hairstyle reminiscent of those given in concentration camps as ‘first day at an unvaccinated camp’ indicates a link between the two events.
On top of this, the video is not the first time the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine has been likened to the Holocaust, with a store in Tennessee facing backlash last year for selling ‘Not Vaccinated’ stars modelled on the kind of Holocaust badge shown by Gidon in the video.
Gidon received a wealth of support after sharing his duet with Carollyn, with one person responding to say they appreciated Gidon ‘putting these people in their place’ and adding, ‘They are absolutely shameful.’
Another commenter wrote, ‘Sir, my heart. I cannot fathom what you went through, and then to have it mocked like this is infuriating. We love you!’
Gidon was born in Czechoslovakia in 1935, and was taken to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1941, according to his website. Though he and his mother survived the camp, his father was sent to Auschwitz, where he died in a death march as the camp was evacuated.
Gidon is now fighting to stop anti-semitism on TikTok, as well as sharing his story through his book, The True Adventures of Gidon Lev.
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