Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Apologizes for Anne Frank Comparison in Anti-Vaccine Speech

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized on Jan. 25 for his controversial remarks implying that Anne Frank had more freedom in hiding from the Nazis than modern Americans under the vaccine policies.

“I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control,” Kennedy said on Twitter.

Kennedy, the son of former United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew to former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, made the remarks at an anti-vaccine mandate rally organized by his nonprofit Children’s Health Defense in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 23.

“Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did. I visited in 1962 East Germany with my father and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible. Many died… but it was possible,” Kennedy said in a speech at the “Defeat the Mandates” rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

Kennedy’s remarks quickly drew fierce criticism from Jewish groups and from members of his family.

The Auschwitz Memorial in Germany suggested that Kennedy’s remarks were “a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay,” while the U.S. Holocaust Museum described Kennedy’s remarks “outrageous and deeply offensive.”

“Those who carelessly invoke Anne Frank, the star badge, and the Nuremberg Trials exploit history and the consequences of hate,” the U.S. Holocaust Museum said.

Actress Cheryl Hines, Kennedy’s wife, also condemned his remarks, describing them as “reprehensible and insensitive.”

“The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything. His opinions are not a reflection of my own,” Hines said.

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