Spectators visiting the famous Aalst carnival in Belgium were shocked to find the depiction of orthodox Jews with unflattering expressions standing amongst sacks of money, paraded through the town. The depiction of orthodox Jews with grimacing faces “brought back memories from Nazi propaganda leaflets and publications such as Der Stürmer from the 1930s,” outraged spectators at the carnival told The Brussels Times.
— SACC by EJC (@SaccBy) March 3, 2019
In another part of the parade, a procession resembling the Ku Klux Klan were seen celebrating with town officials, in the presence of Flemish nationalist politician Senator Guy D’haeseleer.
HATE FEST: A UNESCO supported carnival in Aalst Belgium on Sunday paraded antisemitic caricatures of Orthodox Jews sitting on money bags next to a rat, men in KKK outfits, and people wearing #blackface as thousands cheered and laughed. pic.twitter.com/xu3JGqW0ue
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 4, 2019
The hooded costumes are traditional Catholic outfits worn by processions in Belgium, Italy & Spain, but often have comparisons drawn to the American white supremacist hate group.
The Aalst carnival was included in UNESCO’s list of intangible world heritage in 2010. It’s origin dates back to the Middle Ages. However, only events from 1923 organised by Aalst city council are officially counted.
Aalst mayor Christoph D’Haese is yet to comment on the incident.
In a separate unrelated incident, Sunday, a man under the influence of sleeping pills drove his car into the parade route.
The Brussels Times