Skip to Content

Odem Theater Pub’s COVID vaccine mandate-Nazi Germany comparison sparks controversy online

Rabbi calls it 'unfortunate'; theater owner apologizes, says it was 'not supposed to be mean' but 'provoke thought'

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- An email from Redmond's Odem Theater Pub comparing the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirements to the Nazi persecution of the Jews has sparked controversy on social media. 

Johanna Hershenson, a rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah in Bend, said Wednesday she was disappointed in the entire situation. 

"My gut reaction is that it's just unfortunate,” Hershenson said.

She said the comparison, even if meant to be hyperbole, is not accurate, when it comes to the vaccine. 

"Is nothing like wearing a yellow star,” Hershenson said. “To me, it is like the '90s, when we gave our children chicken pox vaccines before they were allowed to enter kindergarten."

The caption of the image in the theater emailed newsletter asked, "So will we be requiring Star of David yellow armbands issued by the state of Oregon showing your vaccine status for entry? please contact your Hitler youth leader or S-S officer to obtain one."

Odem Theater owner Ted Eady told NewsChannel 21he strongly disagrees with the federal employee vaccine mandate and thinks the government action is too close to Nazi Germany during the 1930s.

"Force people to do something that they shouldn't be able to, and people succumb to that -- that's how we give up our rights, one day at a time,” Eady said. 

Eady said he is fully vaccinated himself and was just trying to start a conversation.

"Not supposed to be mean. It's supposed to provoke thought,” Eady said. 

Eady defended the post but said it wasn’t intended to hurt people’s feelings. 

"It wasn't meant to offend anybody," he said. "I'm sorry that people are thin-skinned, but that may be the era that we're living in right now."

Herschenson said she believes vaccine decisions are made with people's health in mind, but doesn't think anyone should read too much into Eady's post.

"The ridiculous nature of the analogy snaps us back to reality, to make us realize we have something frightening on our hands. It's hard to make decisions for the greater good,” the rabbi said. “We really can do our part if we just get back to that common-sense, one-on-one interaction and not allow ourselves to be so triggered."

Eady apologized to anyone who was triggered or offended. 

"I'm sorry if I offended anybody that's Jewish or of the Jewish faith, that wasn't the intention,” Eady said. 

Author Profile Photo

Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

Comments

78 Comments

  1. This guy is so out of touch with what happened in Nazi Germany. Comparing anything happening in this country, including calling the current Oregon governor, “Hitler,” is uneducated, delusional, flawed, and ridiculous. Shame on this guy, I hope his business fails.

    1. Fortunately, the folks that had some ground to stand on and cry foul are more forgiving, and understanding when hyperbole misses its mark. This is nothing like the most atrocious acts of Nazi Germany. However, there are parallels to be drawn from early in the regime. Hitler was far more charasmatic. I hope the guy learns to be a little more nuanced in his comparisons. I don’t wish him, or any of his employees and failures. Nice job by the Rabbi not to play the victim, but to instead take the opportunity to educate.

      1. The parallels you speak of are concerning indeed. And you’re right, it’s refreshing to see someone not play the victim card when it was dealt to them. Be well.

      1. Lmao!!! Poor antivax kooks aren’t going to have anywhere to go soon!! Only because they won’t avail yourself of “the greatest achievement in the history of medicine ” as their fat,failed and fired dear leader claims he created!!!! Tooooooo funny!!! Hope they have fun Hanging out in their trailers with their ivermectin and discount smokes!!!

    2. It is inappropriate to compare anything in our country to what the Nazi’s did. I’m sure Ted just got this idea from the Democrats.
      Ted, please don’t stoop to their level, you are a good guy.

  2. Well that’s too bad. I wanted to visit that theatre, but I will not support such nonsense. Public health immunizations, which are not new and limited in scope, even if it’s simply the right thing to do, is absolutely unequivocally not Nazi Germany by ANY stretch of the imagination. This public comparison has consequences, such as a call of support from the ultra far right,, which already flexed their power in Redmond at the Independence Say Parade. Sir,, if you haven’t figured out the community in which you live,, and antisemitic sympathizers then you are willfully turning a blind eye or are one yourself. That’s not an apology for a wildly inappropriate comment at best, and antisemitic at worst. Get a clue about the community you operate. I will not be a patron of your service and can already see who will be. Hard pass. To be in business is to be political. Choose your alliances carefully, because people vote with their pocketbook. The type of patron you serve is a reflection of your values, for future reflection. Who do you serve?

    1. Thank you. That leaves more seats for those of us who don’t want to rub elbows with the vaccinated. His comments are spot on and we are tired of watching our god-given rights removed every day one by one. Noticed the grocery shortages? Notice the gas hike up to $4.00 a gallon? Notice that we can no longer choose to go to a concert, a movie, or even dining without someone taking offense to another’s choices?
      Once upon a time we all worried about our own safety, our own health, and maintained our families. Nowadays we can’t even make our own health care decisions. I remember when I first entered the job world, if you were sick you stayed home, you got paid if you had sick time and if you didn’t oh well. Those who couldn’t afford time off, worked while sick – spreading it to everyone else.
      Fast forward to a few years ago, mandated sick leave. Businesses had to cut staff, had to lower pay, and had to figure out other ways to come up with the extra money to offer more sick days to meet government mandates.

      The role of the Federal Government is not to control the people…it is to protect them. Their SOUL job is to provide a military both abroad and in the US to protect the American citizens. When and how did the Federal Government, which is supposed to represent We the People, end up controlling every aspect of our lives down to our healthcare decisions?

      It’s because WE LET THEM. It’s people like you who roll over and say just do it for the greater good, that have caused this mess we find ourselves in. Now you will eventually wake up and see what the Owner is trying to tell you right now.

      1. Indeed it is to protect the people. When Massachusetts mandated vaccines, it went to the Supreme Court. They decided the mandate was legal, stating: “The good and welfare of the Commonwealth, of which the legislature is primarily the judge, is the basis on which the police power rests in Massachusetts upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

      2. First of all it’s “sole” not soul. 2nd of all, did you go to school? Did your kids go to school? Where was all the moaning, whining and crying about mandated vaccines to enter schools? Lest you forget: Measels, mumps, polio etc. Choose another fight, this one is futile

  3. Nazi Germany didn’t start with violence against the Jews, it started with identification of Jews. Thus the yellow star of David worn on the shoulder. After identification came the limiting of the Jews’ ability to participate in society. After the identification and the limitation came the violence.

    It appears this society is in the identification stage, vaccinated vs. unvaccinated and getting ready to start the limitation stage: Ted Eady seems to be exactly on point. And you virtuous-vaccinateds are having your feelings hurt when Mr. Eady points out the parallel? sheesh!

    1. I was just about to say this. Snowflakes here can’t see those points is ridiculous. Group of people being singled out; check. Group of people being identified out to society; check. Group of people being limited to be able to participate in society; check. Group of people being singled out as a danger to society; check. Perhaps you people are so upset because the parallels are too close to home?

    2. Judaism are a religion. It is not a global airborne viral pandemic that can infect my grandmother and kill her needlessly because Trump supporters don’t want to take Trump’s Warp Speed vaccine, or wear an Oregon Ducks mask. Do you not see the difference?

      1. Wrong. Your grandmother can get the vaccine to protect herself. If she gets a breakthrough case still, it can still be from a vaccinated person as they still carry the virus. So basically, your logic is flawed.

  4. How not to apologize 101:

    Wrong:
    “I’m sorry that people are thin-skinned, but that may be the era that we’re living in right now.”

    Correct:
    “I take full accountability over my actions and recognize that what I did was harmful to other people.”

    1. @SparklyFairyDust, well-said. There was also this: “I’m sorry if I offended anybody that’s Jewish or of the Jewish faith, that wasn’t the intention.” I’m not Jewish, I was deeply offended.

  5. Anyone that is offended by this comparison doesn’t understand the ramifications of the last 18 months. First, it was 2 weeks to flatten the curve, then it was only seeking medical care if necessary, then it was masked up to go anywhere, we need to stop this in its tracks. Then it do your part to protect everyone. That soon became, you are killing people, you don’t care about anyone but yourself. People lost jobs they had for years. Small businesses closed due to mandates while Walmart and large chains stayed open and raked in the $$. Then we opened for a short time, only to pull back yet again with its only to flatten the curve. Then restaurants closed down and there was NO DATA to support that they were spreaders. People, out of work just before Christmas, with unemployment impossible to get ahold of. Bills piling up, threatening to lose power, housing, cars. Suicides climbed to an all-time high, but we didn’t see that on the news. In fact, you didn’t see much on the news at all, because what we see is being controlled. Only news stories for months were the daily death count and case count. Despite people constantly asking for actual data that wasn’t “Lumped” together and actually release qualitative data instead of numbers or quantitative data. The difference is very real. It’s the difference between 200 covid cases in unvaxxed, 100 in vaxxed. (Quantitative) Qualitative data would be 75 unvaccinated, 100 one-shots vaccinated, 25 two-shot vaccinated but not past the 14 days, and 100 vaccinated. See the difference…same numbers, just with descriptors accurately portraying data groups shows the “real” picture.
    His comparison of Communist Germany is spot on. We are headed down a VERY deliberate path right now. This is over 50 years or more in the making. The Covid outbreak was the perfect way to put blinders on so many. We are being scammed by openly Marxist/Communist politicians who are no longer hiding behind the democrats. They are now standing tall and proclaiming their intent. If you don’t see it, you deserve what is coming. But alas, there are too many of us WILLING and ABLE to FIGHT for our rights and yours. Our FIGHT starts with NON COMPLIANCE of repugnant laws to the Constitution of our State and Federal levels.
    Time is now to pay attention to the world around you. India went from the worst deaths and cases of the covid to now they are over it. How? They are using Ivermectin…which costs pennies and has been around for years. It is not only for horses and livestock, it’s been for humans for almost 40 years. It is antiparasitic, but it is also anti-inflammatory. Do a simple internet search for ivermectin and India. the statistics will shock you. Within a week of starting it, the deaths decreased dramatically. They now have little to no covid at all. We are being played folks and this business owner deserves our support for not being afraid of calling a a politician a communist.

      1. Keyser, you definitely have the right idea about “follow the money”, but you have your “Merck money” figured backwards. Ivermectin has been “off patent” for 25 years now and that’s how long it has been since Merck made a dime off Ivermectin. The big drug companies make a big percentage of their profits off vaccines, so Merck is pro-vaccine, anti-Ivermectin on a $ basis. Plenty of evidence showing Merck to be less than truthful in your linked article.

      2. Later Merck announced a $1.2 billion deal with the government to develop a drug that works in a very similar way to Ivermectin. Since an emergency use authorization requires there be no effective alternatives it’s abundantly clear that Merck has 1.2 billion reasons to deny the effectiveness of any alternatives, especially an off-patent one such as Ivermectin.

        https://www.merck.com/news/merck-announces-supply-agreement-with-u-s-government-for-molnupiravir-an-investigational-oral-antiviral-candidate-for-treatment-of-mild-to-moderate-covid-19/

  6. Anyone that knows Ted, knows that he is a good person and cares about others.
    Go see for yourself.

    Secondly, when is free speech wrong? If you don’t like the message then just ignore it and move on…

    Whenever you attack someone like this you are continuing the process of restricting our rights.

    1. A good person wouldn’t have made this disgusting attention ploy to get people into his moldy theatre.
      I can give this baby some binkies if he is out. Wahhhhhh.

    2. No, I don’t think I will go see for myself, but thanks anyway. Also, free speech works both ways. This guy was free to say something stupid, he did so, and now people are free to point out that he said something stupid. No rights have been restricted, this is actually a perfect example of the 1st working as designed. No fear mongering needed.

  7. Funny how folks on the right generously like to use the nazi comparison when feeling their rights are being infringed on. But it’s the right that’s trying in earnest to infringe on the rights of everyday citizens by implementing voter restrictions because they can’t win a fair fight. Oh yes! He “didn’t mean to offend anyone “. Really? The mere implication that this is anything like nazi Germany is offensive.

    1. And you should be offended, because what is happening now is what was happening pre WWII with Germany.. Just so happens that then it was a Super Race vs Jews. today, here, now, its Vacced vs unVacced. Trump supporters vs Democrats.
      Even here, its been promoted to have all the unvacced moved to a camp. All the Trump supporters rounded up and tried for treason.

  8. This is so utterly disgusting. All you idiots out there equating the Nazi regime, or slavery with the response to the pandemic are complete insensitive morons. This is utter false equivalency and an absolute punch in the gut to anyone, or any family that was effected by both or either. You guys really are sick and quite frankly, stupid human beings.

  9. I am Jewish on my mother’s side, raised Catholic after my mom converted in the 50s. I will say even though I believe the vaccine is good, and that I’m fully vaccinated, I do keep my opinions to myself and don’t believe on pushing things on those who are anti-vax. I’ve even tolerated being called names and bullied at the grocery store for wearing a mask after the mandate dropped those few months because I am a caregiver of someone immunocompromised and thought it would be best to keep wearing one. I never told anyone else to wear one. I never imposed my feelings or opinions on anyone. I try to go about my day with a quiet footprint. That being said, comparing ANYTHING to the holocaust is not only hurtful to those who have family members who perished, but also ignorant and, frankly, historically inaccurate. Not being able to see a movie without a vaccine is really a first world problem to begin with. Stay home. Your home theater is probably bigger at this point, anyway. Give me a break. This whole thing is so insane people are saying to laugh at it. But trust me, it’s in no way funny or hyperbolic. I hope the people of central Oregon protest with their dollars and this business realizes what they’ve done. Though it is their right to not agree with a vaccine or a mask mandate, how have they lost their empathy to bring up the holocaust? Or maybe this is what living in a small Oregon town does to people, even though I grew up here. I mean, after the confederate flag in the parade no one bothered to stop, are we really that surprised?

  10. Many people jump right to associating the Nazi policies from 1938 (and that continued through the end of the war) anytime Nazis and Jews are mentioned.

    But that’s not where the seeds of the atrocities were planted. Take a look at the events of 1933 and it’s clear that there are actually some uncomfortable parallels with modern events.

    https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1933-1938

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

  11. Theater owner Mr. Eady said he was just trying to start a conversation. Yeah. Sure. Really he is “just trying to”
    minimize an email he made that is so disgusting he should be ashamed of himself. From now on his theater should be showing films of the Nazi persecution of Jews and others considered “undesirable” by the Hitler regime. Perhaps then he might realize that those of us who are appalled by his actions are not “thin skinned” as he stated with his wise guy attitude. This is not about being “thin skinned” but rather about being aware of history, which he seems to not be. I used to enjoy going to that theater. Never again.

  12. I wonder if those commenters so outraged they plan to boycott Odem also plan to boycott ktvz for continuing to provide feeds from cnn? And, of course, cnn itself.
    Christiane Amanpour, still Chief International Anchor for cnn:
    https://youtu.be/Yq9El9IoXhI
    And even now cnn leads stories with “The Big Lie” regarding Trump, a reference to nazi propaganda:
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/16/politics/trump-big-lie-gop-election/index.html
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/15/politics/big-lie-republican-belief-trump/index.html
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/16/politics/trump-secretary-of-state-big-lie/index.html
    Barney says we should stop polarizing rhetoric (and we should), but provides that very thing on a daily basis with the help of cnn.
    Even Obama got in on the act:
    https://youtu.be/74_nmzSWq_Y?t=11

Leave a Reply

Skip to content