Fact Check

Did an Anti-Vaccine Protester Liken Nurses to Nazi War Criminals?

A photograph of a sign that promised a second "Nuremberg" for those who administer COVID-19 vaccines provoked consternation, in September 2021.

Published Sep 21, 2021

Image Via Reddit
In September 2021, an anti-vaccine protester held a sign that read "Nurses & doctors who deliver the COVID-19 jab will be held accountable just like Nuremberg."

Snopes is still fighting an “infodemic” of rumors and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and you can help. Find out what we've learned and how to inoculate yourself against COVID-19 misinformation. Read the latest fact checks about the vaccines. Submit any questionable rumors and “advice” you encounter. Become a Founding Member to help us hire more fact-checkers. And, please, follow the CDC or WHO for guidance on protecting your community from the disease.

In September 2021, internet users enthusiastically shared a photograph that appeared to show an anti-vaccine protester holding a sign that likened healthcare professionals to Nazi war criminals, simply for providing voluntary COVID-19 vaccinations.

On Sept. 19, a popular post on Reddit contained the picture, which showed a woman standing in what appeared to be a park, holding a sign that referred to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after World War II, and read:

"Nurses & doctors who deliver the COVID-19 jab will be held accountable just like Nuremberg."

The sign prompted outrage and bemusement not only because it implicitly likened the actions of healthcare professionals — who administered safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations — to Nazis who had orchestrated the murder, torture, exile, and imprisonment of millions of people, but also because it could be construed as advocating physical violence against those doctors and nurses, since 12 of the Nazi leaders tried at Nuremberg were executed.

The sign was also real, and the picture was not the result of digital editing. As a result, we are issuing a rating of "True."

The photograph of the "Nuremberg" sign was first posted online by Reddit user "SkepOfTheNorth," who posted it to the "Northern Ireland" section of Reddit on Sept. 19, along with the caption "Local genius at yesterday's anti vax rally, Stormont Belfast."

The individual behind that account directed Snopes to the original source of the picture — a Sept. 18 "Facebook Live" video streamed by Alan Robinson, a pro-cannabis activist in Northern Ireland who also regularly posts anti-vaccine content and conspiracy theories. The picture was therefore a screenshot taken from Robinson's video, which was filmed at an anti-vaccine protest on Sept. 18, 2021, which took place at Stormont (seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly) in Belfast.

Our own screenshots of the video clearly show the same woman holding the same sign, with different postures and facial expressions — thereby definitively establishing its authenticity:


kwkierjote. “I’m Done. I’m so Done….” R/Facepalm, 19 Sept. 2021, www.reddit.com/r/facepalm/comments/pr74zi/im_done_im_so_done/.
SkepOfTheNorth. “Local Genius at Yesterdays Anti Vax Rally, Stormont Belfast.” R/Northernireland, 19 Sept. 2021, www.reddit.com/r/northernireland/comments/pr3jf4/local_genius_at_yesterdays_anti_vax_rally/.
The Nuremberg Trials — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/the-nuremberg-trials. Accessed 21 Sept. 2021.
World, Weed. “A Friend in Need - Alan Robinson Aka NI Canna Guy by PSY23.” Weed World Magazine, 2 Aug. 2019, https://www.weedworldmagazine.org/2019/08/02/a-friend-in-need-alan-robinson-aka-ni-canna-guy-by-psy23/.

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.