The German and Israeli Consulate Generals have both issued statements pointing out that it was inappropriate to compare treatment of police officers with the persecution of Jewish people.
The remarks were made at a special “meeting” of police unions discussing means to help the jailed seven police officers who beat up a protester during the 2014 Occupy protest. A video taken by Apple Daily showed a speaker describing how officers are often insulted by protesters.
“How I would describe it is: it’s like in the second world war. We are Jews, and we are being persecuted. We are like the Jews being persecuted by the Nazi armies. Am I right?” he said.
The crowd then shouted “yes!” Organisers claimed that 38,000 attended the rally at its peak.
The German Consulate General said on Friday morning in a social media post that “The reported reference to the Holocaust shows a regrettably insufficient knowledge of historical facts.”
“The Jewish population in Germany was persecuted by the State and all its organs during the Nazi dictatorship and millions lost their lives. Therefore the comparison between the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and police officers convicted for an abuse of power is utterly inappropriate,” it said.
Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai had written to the Consul General on Thursday to notify him of the incident and urge him to “defend the dignity of your nation and people.”
In a statement, the Consulate-General of Israel in Hong Kong said on Thursday it wishes “no further comparison will be made to the Jewish Holocaust.”
“Without relating to the trial of the seven police officers, the alleged statement at the rally yesterday that made a reference to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany is inappropriate and regretful,” it said.
In a Facebook post, the Hong Kong Holocaust & Tolerance Centre said the comments “trivialised” the Holocaust.
The police force has distanced itself from the statement.
A spokesperson for the police told local media that individual officer’s comments do not represent the position of the police, and the police do not agree with the relevant “inappropriate” comments.