Both Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Auschwitz Memorial Museum have condemned the presence signs that included Nazi slogans at a Friday rally against the state's stay-at-home order.
In one instance, photos posted to social media showed a woman wearing an American flag face mask holding a sign that read "Arbeit macht frei," a German phrase meaning "work sets you free."
On Twitter, the Auschwitz Memorial Museum stated "arbeit macht frei" was a false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the concentration camp.
"Those words became one of the icons of human hatred. It's painful to see this symbol instrumentalized & used again to spread hate," the museum stated. "It's a symptom of moral & intellectual degeneration."
At his daily coronavirus press briefing Saturday, Gov. Pritzker, who is Jewish, detested the slogans and signs including swastikas, which he said also surfaced at the rally.
"I’ll defend to the death their right to be wrong and to say it out loud, but the fact is that if they look at the facts the experts are trying to protect them, and the elected officials that stand on the right side of this are trying to protect them," he said, referring to protesters.
Pritzker said that there weren't many people at the protest and even fewer carrying those types of signs.
"There are millions of good people doing the right thing protecting each other, and I’m so grateful to live in a state with those millions of people," he added.