Ex-diplomat likens Catalonian children to Jews in Holocaust

(JTA) — A former Spanish ambassador likened Catalonian children to Jews who were forced to wear the yellow star.

Francisco Vasquez, a member of the Socialist Party, a former mayor of La Coruna and a past ambassador to the Vatican, told Televisión de Galicia last week that there was “no difference between a Jewish yellow star used by the Nazis and a child punished for speaking Catalan Castilian in the schoolyard.”

Socialist Party politicians from both sides of the linguistic divide strongly condemned the comments.

Congresswoman Beatriz Ferrolana Sestayo said Vasquez’s statements were an “aberration” that merited an apology, according to the Spanish paper Libertad.

On Thursday, leaders of Catalonia’s autonomous government agreed to form a new government and hold a referendum on independence in 2014, maintaining a push for autonomy that poses a major challenge to Spain’s central government.

Help us tell the Jewish story with reporting from around the world. Please donate to JTA.

Click to write a letter to the editor.