A trade union in Italy has provoked outrage among the country’s Jewish community after deciding to hold a contest which awards the "Hitler Prize." Within the Feder Fauna union whose members include farmers and animal growers, management called on employees to name those who were frequently hounded by animal activists as potential recipients.
The award is ironically named after Adolf Hitler, who ordered human trials and simultaneously passed a law for the protection of animals. Massimiliano Filippi, general secretary of the association said: “The Hitler Prize represents a condemnation of those who trample on human rights in the name of the ideology of ‘animal rights’!”
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"I find that asking to stop experiments on rats and proposing instead experiments be done on prisoners has a close affinity to Nazism." added Filippi. On the award poster, Hitler is seen petting two deer at the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.
The Jewish community is not convinced by the jarring attempt at conveying an anti-Nazi message, and according to the UK’s Daily Mail, Jewish organizations condemned the move. Italian Jewish community leader Rabbi Barbara Aiello said the award "demonstrates the disturbing rise of hatred and intolerance, not only in Italy, but throughout Europe.
“The fact that a competition like the Hitler Award is even conceivable, let alone celebrated, is more than troubling and indicates a significant change in the Italian public’s general tolerance for anti-semitic remarks and activity," she added.
Last week, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi created a storm of controversy when he said that his children felt their family was being picked on by the judiciary "like Jewish families in Germany under Hitler's regime.”
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