Kerry Kennedy Condemns Brother RFK Jr.'s Anne Frank Reference in Anti-Vaccine Speech as He Apologizes

"Bobby's lies and fear-mongering yesterday were both sickening and destructive," Kerry Kennedy wrote in a statement

Kerry Kennedy
Kerry Kennedy. Photo: Mike Pont/Getty

Kerry Kennedy has joined a chorus of those condemning her brother Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s comments comparing anti-vaccine advocates to Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who was killed during the Holocaust after her family hid for two years inside the secret annex of an Amsterdam house.

"Even in Hitler's Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did," Robert, 68, said during a speech at an anti-vaccine rally in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. "Today the mechanisms are being put in place so none of us can run and none of us can hide."

His sister — the president of a human rights organization bearing the name of her and her brother's father, late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy — subsequently posted a furious message on Instagram Monday.

"Bobby's lies and fear-mongering yesterday were both sickening and destructive," Kerry, 62, wrote. "I strongly condemn him for his hateful rhetoric. He does not represent the views of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights or our family."

Robert Kennedy jr, third son of Bob Kennedy during his speech at the 'No Green Pass' demonstration at Arco Della Pace on November 13, 2021 in Milan, Italy.
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty

Robert apologized for the remarks on Tuesday "for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors," he wrote on Twitter. "My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry."

The apology came after his wife — as well as institutions dedicated to memorializing Holocaust victims and educating people on the horrific history of the Nazi era — also spoke out against the passionately anti-vaccine activist's remarks.

"My husband's reference to Anne Frank at a mandate rally in D.C. was reprehensible and insensitive," Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines, who wed Robert in 2014, wrote on Twitter. "The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything. His opinions are not a reflection of my own."

Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer
Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer. Mike Pont/Getty

The Kennedy siblings' uncle was President John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Robert is a longtime and outspoken opponent of vaccine science. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, he lobbied against a California state bill to limit medical exemptions from vaccinations without approval from a state public health officer.

Nearly a year into the pandemic, his niece Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, an internal medicine resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital, spoke out about his stance in December 2020. "I love my uncle. But when it comes to vaccines, he is wrong," she said, joining other members of the Kennedy family who have felt obligated to separated themselves from his position.

Several of his family members also published an op-ed about his views in 2019.

Related Articles