A Nashville, Tennessee store name hatWRKS has promoted its sale of a wearable yellow Star of David, a Nazi-era anti-Jewish emblem, bearing the words "NOT VACCINATED."
The store advertised the item in a now-deleted Instagram post showing the store's owner, Gigi Gaskins, smiling and wearing the star on her chest. The post mentioned that the stars cost $5.
Twitter users widely criticized the post as offensive, causing the store to respond via Instagram.A seemingly deleted Instagram post allegedly posted by the Nashville, Tennessee shop hatWRKS shows its owner, Gigi Gaskins, wearing a yellow Nazi-era Star of David bearing the words "Not vaccinated." Instagram screenshot
The shop's stars emerged in the same week that Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene made comparisons between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Holocaust. The Holocaust, which occurred from 1941 to 1945, involved Nazis killing roughly 6 million European Jews.
"Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star," Greene tweeted on Tuesday. Greene has also compared face masks to the gold stars. Nazis forced Jews to wear the stars to stigmatize, humiliate, isolate and control them.
In an Instagram post published Friday afternoon, hatWRKS wrote, "people are so outraged by my post? But are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing? if you don't understand what is happening , that is on you, not me."
"i pay much more respect to history by standing up with the fallen than offering silence & compliance. that is the worst crime," the post stated. "It was then & is now. i will deleted you disgust and hope you put it where it belongs."
The hatWRKS Instagram page contains numerous images opposing face-masks, Democratic President Joe Biden and COVID-19 vaccines. The page also contains a flagged image pushing a conspiracy theory that claims George Soros and Bill Gates helped create the COVID-19 pandemic for global financial benefit.
On Friday, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum published an open letter signed by 50 Holocaust survivors urging politicians to stop making comparisons between modern social conditions and the Holocaust.
"We also watch with great dismay a persistent and increasing tendency in American public life to invoke the Holocaust for the purpose of promoting another agenda," the letter said.
"It is deeply painful for us to see our personal history—the systematic destruction of our families and communities and murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children—exploited in this way," it continued. "What we survived should be remembered, studied, and learned from, but never misused."
Fellow Republicans criticized Greene for her Holocaust comparisons. Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney called Greene's comparisons "evil lunacy" and Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger called them an "absolute sickness."
"Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling," Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said in a statement.
Newsweek contacted hatWRKS for comment.A Tennessee hat shop called hatWRKS has started selling yellow stars, similar to those Nazis used to publicly shame Jews during the Holocaust, The hop's stars proclaim, "not vaccinated." In this photo, Polish-born 84-year-old Sarah Montard one of the survivors of infamous Vel D'Hiv roundup shows her Birkenau prisoner identification tattoo as she wears the yellow Jewish star reading in French "Jew", on July 5, 2012 in Tremblay-sur-Mauldre, outside Paris. She survived the Holocaust. Mehdi Fedouach / AFP/Getty