A damnable, detestable comparison


October 21, 2021

Public domain

Children line up in the Lodz Ghetto for deportation to the Chelmno death camp in September 1942.

Imagine a crisp, cool fall morning, much like this one.

Blue skies mingle with a patchwork of clouds, a slight breeze stirs the air.

In the streets, families gather.

It's the first week of September 1942. The Lodz Ghetto, created after the German invasion of Poland, is home to more than 200,000 Polish Jews.

In the morning stillness, dread fills the air.

Jewish parents are ordered to turn over all children under 10 and all adults over 65.

Within a week, more than 15,000 children will have been taken from their families.

Some were killed in mobile gas chambers, others were shot.

Many of the children and the elderly were taken to the Chełmno extermination camp, where they were stripped of their clothing before being told they were being taken to showers to be bathed and disinfected.

Instead, they were herded into mobile vans and gassed to death.

More than 150,000 people were murdered at Chełmno.

At Auschwitz, the largest and most notorious of the Nazi death camps, the murder process had a factory-like precision.

Jews were stripped of their clothes and sent into one of four chambers to be gassed. Two of the chambers were filled with 1,000 people at a time. After they were killed with a gas called Zyklon B, the bodies were removed. Women's hair was cut off, jewelry and dental work was removed before the bodies were moved to crematoriums to be burned.

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Bodies turned to ash, floating from chimneys. Bones that wouldn't burn were ground to powder.

More than a million lives were erased at Auschwitz.

Now flash forward to Oct. 12, 2021.

The place is a twice-monthly meeting of the Shelton School District school board.

A discussion regarding Gov. Jay Inslee's requirement that state employees, including K-12 school teachers and staff, ensues.

Sandy Tarzwell, representing Shelton's District No. 1, speaks:

"Some people say it (the vaccination mandate) is for the public good. I don't necessarily believe that public good should triumph individual rights. The Germans used 'public good' to exterminate six million Jews."

In that sentence, Tarzwell compared people taking a proven, life-saving vaccine to the horrors of the Holocaust.

It's hard to imagine someone being more willfully offensive.

And let's be clear, she knew what she was saying.

Tarzwell has been on the Shelton School District board since 2014. She's educated and has run in political circles long enough to know that what she said was explosive and how it would be received. Furthermore, it wasn't just an off-hand comment made in private. Tarzwell said it in the middle of a public school board meeting.

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Tarzwell's comments were a heinous, bankrupt attempt to score cheap partisan political points at the expense of the well-being of children attending Shelton schools.

Many others disagree with Inslee's mandate and have done so without tying it to one of the darkest times in history.

No one is holding a gun to anyone's head, forcing them to inject the vaccine or be executed.

As of today, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not, as many of those who choose not to receive it say, an experimental vaccine. It's gone through the same rigorous safety protocols as hundreds of thousands of other medicines have.

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More importantly, it's still a choice to receive it or not. Making a vaccine a condition of employment for certain jobs is not forcing anyone to take it.

It certainly doesn't remotely compare to the Holocaust, as Sandy Tarzwell did in her detestable comments.

It's possible that like too many others, Tarzwell has spent too much time reading social media posts, exposing her to people that repeat this kind of nonsense daily to the point where it doesn't feel weird or inappropriate to her. Sadly, we know too many people who have becoming lodged in the sludge of misinformation that marinates online.

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Regardless of her reasons, as a member of the very group charged with ensuring the education, health and safety of Shelton's students, Tarzwell's comments should disqualify her from the school board going forward. As an educational decision-maker, Tarzwell has abdicated her duty to the students and families she serves. She is unfit to lead.

Tarzwell should make a sincere apology to our community and tender her immediate resignation.

Anything less allows her shameful comments to stain our schools and the reputation of our community.

Author Bio

Justin Johnson, Editor

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
Email: [email protected]


Reader Comments(1)

Mrhobo124 writes:

There are no fully approved vaccines available in the United States. The PCR test is only approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU). False positive test results are perpetuating the pandemic in order to sell the vaccine.


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