Nazi imagery, anti-vax theories
Satirical web article

Nazi imagery, anti-vax theories

Monash academic condemns magazine for conspiracy theories about the Holocaust, vaccination and 9/11.

Offensive photo used in a web spoof by Gumshoe News 
Photo: Gumshoe News
Offensive photo used in a web spoof by Gumshoe News Photo: Gumshoe News

A JEWISH academic at Monash University has condemned a satirical web article sending up Australian political parties as they establish a government called “Aussie National Socialists”.

The article – in e-zine Gumshoe News, which has promoted conspiracy theories about the Holocaust, vaccination and 9/11 – was accompanied by an altered photo of Prime Minister Scott Morrison wearing Adolf Hitler’s uniform and moustache, and the slogan, “No jab, no job.”

Stating “new name: Aussie National Socialists”, the article continued, “‘Let’s call ourselves the National Socialists! National, to keep Barnaby Joyce happy,’ said Mr Morrison. ‘And Socialists,’ said Mr Albanese, ‘To remind people of what the Labor [sic] used to be, in the good old days when Labor actually represented the workers instead of Big Business. ‘And I added Aussie,’ said Mr Morrison, ‘so people wouldn’t confuse us with the National Socialist party in Germany in the 1930s. Though I admit we have borrowed a few of their policies …’ .”

It concluded with, “‘You’re too right Scotty! Or should I say too Reich?’ joked Mr Albanese. ‘Reich is right mate,’ quipped Mr Morrison, as arm in arm, the two amigos exited the press conference.”

Dr Ran Porat, a researcher at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC), Monash University, lashed the spoof for its use of Nazi references and imagery.

Moreover, Porat said Gumshoe News had form – last year it published an iconic Holocaust picture of a Jewish child with arms raised in surrender to the Gestapo in the Warsaw Ghetto to illustrate an article promoting contemporary conspiracy theories.

He said the website has frequently pushed conspiracy theories on Holocaust denial (promoting well-known Holocaust deniers), coronavirus and 9/11. An article on coronavirus includes quotes from the notorious antisemitic tract, Protocols of the Elders of Zionism.

Describing the article as “appalling, beyond the pale”, Porat told The AJN he was particularly concerned at parallels the magazine has made between vaccination issues and the Shoah. “Diminishing and reducing the Holocaust is popular among anti-vaxxers,” he observed.

Approached by The AJN, Gumshoe News founder Dee McLachlan forwarded a comment from the article’s author Kim Skeltys stating, “I apologise if my article and the accompanying photo offended some members of Australia’s Jewish community, as it was never my intention to cause any offence.”

Skeltys condemned any material promoting antisemitism, specifically Holocaust denial and Protocols of the Elders of Zion. However, the author reiterated parallels between the Nazi era and vaccination policies.

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