The German Consulate General in Hong Kong has said that it enjoys a good relationship with the police. The statement came after a police association clarified an officer’s controversial comment comparing the treatment of police officers with the persecution of Jewish people.

The officer’s remarks were made at a rally held by police unions last Wednesday discussing means to help the jailed seven police officers who beat up a protester during the 2014 Occupy protest. A video taken by Apple Daily showed a speaker describing how officers are often insulted by protesters.

“How I would describe it is: it’s like in the second world war. We are Jews, and we are being persecuted. We are like the Jews being persecuted by the Nazi armies. Am I right?” he said.

police rally
Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

The crowd then shouted “yes!” Organisers claimed that 38,000 attended the rally at its peak.

The incident sparked criticism from the German and the Israeli Consulates General, as well as from the Jewish community in the city.

The Junior Police Officers’ Association, one of the organisers of the meeting, then issued a statement on Saturday afternoon.

“If any member’s comments have offended any countries or peoples, this was not the meeting’s goal, intention or position. The Association is very sad and regretful over the incident,” it read.

In a new statement on Tuesday, the German Consulate General thanked the Association for its words.

“We are very well aware that those comments were made by an individual and in no way reflect the opinion of the [Hong Kong Police Force] in general. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the good relations between our two offices,” it said.

The new statement came after the German Consulate said on Saturday night that it did not wish to comment further on reports in the media.

“We would like to reiterate that we urge everyone to study the history of the Holocaust before making any reference to it.”

police rally
Photo: HKFP/Kris Cheng.

It may have been referring to an article on HKGPao, a pro-Beijing website founded by Robert Chow Yung, who is known for organising anti-Occupy events.

The website criticised four media outlets for carrying a commentary by a Liberal Studies teacher on the incident.

The teacher indirectly compared attendees of the police meeting with Nazi soldiers who followed orders during the Holocaust but felt no remorse for their wrongdoings.

In response to the website’s enquiry, the consulate said: “We are not yet aware of such web media articles, but any comparison between the HKPF and Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust is, of course, equally inappropriate.”

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.