The Auschwitz Memorial weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding President Trump’s response to last Saturday’s killing at a white supremacist rally in Virginia with a tweet subtlety critiquing the president’s statements in the aftermath of the attack.
On August 13th, a day after a neo-Nazi man from Ohio rammed a group of demonstrators protesting a white nationalist event in Charlottesville, killing one, the Auschwitz Memorial issued a statement via Twitter, warning of the present dangers “of what racist & antisemitic ideologies can lead to”.
“Auschwitz stands today as a painful reminder of what racist & antisemitic ideologies can lead to, of what may happen when people hate...”
The post came just hours after the President claimed “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville – a statement which drew wide criticism on both sides of the aisle.
On the 14th, Trump singled out hate groups including “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists” for criticism, declaring “racism is evil”.
A day later, however, Trump defended his initial response to the attack, insisting that both sides were to blame, noting the violent attacks by far-left protesters at the Charlottesville rally.
“What about the alt-left that came charging the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? As far as I’m concerned that was a horrible day.”
“You had a group one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that but I’ll say it right now,” stressed Trump.
A day after Trump’s follow-up statement, the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted again.
“One of the hardest lessons for us today. Perpetrators were people. They accepted an ideology that rationalized and promoted hatred & evil.”
The tweet included a link to an image of Auschwitz staff “having fun between mass murder”, with a warning that the banality of evil was carried out not by “evil nutcases”, but merely people “following an ideology they believed in. Even more frightening.”
When asked whether the posts constituted rebuke of the president, the Memorial told the Associated Press people could interpret the tweets as they wished.