The city of Worcester, Massachusetts has opened an investigation after a firefighter was accused of posting an anti-Semitic image to Instagram.
The alleged post compared President Joe Biden to Hitler and the Holocaust, the Telegram & Gazette reported.
The firefighter is facing unspecified punishment for reportedly posting the image showing Biden standing on a podium that has a swastika behind it. Biden is wearing a Hitler mustache and a Nazi armband that have been digitally added.
The image is captioned: “This is what you ******** idiots voted for!”
The Instagram account has since been deleted.
“The City of Worcester denounces racism and intolerance in all forms,” the city of Worcester’s manager Edward Augustus Jr. said in a statement. “We vehemently reject the hateful message conveyed in the post made on social media. This post in no way reflects the position of the city of Worcester or its fire department.”
He added: “It is contrary to the values and mission of both the city of Worcester and the Worcester Fire Department.”
Augustus said that an investigation has begun into the firefighter’s social media activities.
“Our department of human resources, working with the Worcester Fire Department has commenced an investigation into the allegations,” he said. “The city will take appropriate action based on the results of the investigation.”
Steven Schimmel, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, told the news outlet that the post was “Inappropriate” and “undermines the horrors of the Holocaust.”
He called for additional resources to be allocated for Holocaust education.
“We encourage this as an opportunity to teach everyone, anyone who hears about the history of the Holocaust, to give them a better understanding of why this (online image) is viewed as hurtful or inappropriate,” he said. “The terror of the Nazi era is horrific. Nothing compares to it.”
ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan told the Telegram & Gazette that the post “erodes public trust in institutions and individuals we rely on at times of greatest need.”
“We have heard from members of the local community who are shocked and concerned regarding these posting and find this conduct to be abhorrent and unbecoming of an official sworn to serve the public safety needs of Worcester’s residents,” Trestan told Boston.com. “Some have expressed that their trust in the Worcester Fire Department has been undermined and that they are uncertain if they can rely on the protection of local public safety personnel.”