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'I was forced to apologize' says election candidate who likened mask mandate to Holocaust

The House candidate shared a meme comparing mask mandates to the persecution of Jewish people.

An election candidate who is the latest to liken Gov. Tim Walz's COVID-19 face mask mandate to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany has said she was "forced" to apologize.

That's according to the Mesabi Daily News, which reported this week that the Republican-endorsed candidate for House Seat 6B, Julie Buria, seemingly recanted her previous apology for sharing the offending meme.

At a Mountain Iron City Council meeting Monday, Buria said "I was forced to" when she was asked why she apologized for sharing the meme, though didn't say who allegedly forced her.

The meme she shared featured the image of a mass grave during the Holocaust, and stated that "any government with enough power to demand that you carry papers to move around freely is far more dangerous than COVID-19."

"Never again let the government overreach to this degree, and here we are,” Buria said, per the Mesabi Daily News. "Did I compare it to that? Absolutely.”

It comes after the Minnesota Republican Party previously condemned a similar meme shared by the Wabasha County GOP, which likened the mask mandate to the yellow stars Jewish people were forced to wear as identifiers by the Nazi Regime in 1930s and wartime Germany.

A county official resigned after admitting they shared the meme, with the party having originally suggested it had been "hacked."

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Carin Mrotz, the executive director of Jewish Community Action Minnesota, explained on Twitter this week why comparing the mask mandate to the Holocaust is antisemitic.

"The Holocaust was the state-led genocide and extermination of Jews and others as threats to the purity of the white race," she said.

"When you making analogous the Nazis' tactics to measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID, your analogy makes Jews the disease. Not your freedom."

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