Earlier this week, Neo-Nazis protested a Holocaust remembrance event in the town of Russellville, Arkansas.
The Nazi protestors carried signs with messages like, “The Holocaust didn’t happen, but it should have” and “[Yaweh] has the oven pre-heated.” They also chanted anti-Semitic slurs and “six million more,” wishing for six million more Jews to be slaughtered in a state-sponsored ethnic genocide.
Russellville holds an annual March of Remembrance to commemorate those who survived and perished in the 1940s Holocaust carried out by Germans during World War II. This year’s event included Sir Beryl Wolfson, a 96-year-old WWII veteran who witnessed concentration camps firsthand, who spoke publicly about his experiences.
A Neo-Nazi group known as the Shield Wall Network reportedly protested the march in support of Dr. Michael Link, a deceased Arkansas Tech University professor whose reputation recently came under question for his alleged views questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened. The university says the allegations of Dr. Link being a Holocaust denier are unsubstantiated.
The event continued as planned as police kept the two groups separate. The Nazis also carried a large blood-stained white cross and a Christian flag. They continued their protest at the nearby City Mall parking lot.
Russellville is something of a hot spot for white supremacists. In February, authorities arrested 54 members of a white supremacist gang in and around Russellville. The group, called the New Aryan Empire, has been fingered for murders, violent assaults, kidnappings and meth distribution in the area.
The WWII Nazis targeted suspected homosexuals, gypsies and other “social undesirables” for mass slaughter in gas chambers and executions by gun. German Nazi recruitment was aided in large part by the out gay Nazi officer Ernst Röhm, but he was later murdered by during the Night of Long Knives when Hitler wanted to purge him from the Nazi leadership.
Though many American history textbooks treat Nazism as a uniquely German force that was defeated in World War II, many Americans vocally supported the Nazis before the war and continue to do so to this very day.