One of the most disturbing images from yesterday’s Tea Party rally against health care reform on Capitol Hill was a protester’s gruesome sign showing a pile of dead Holocaust victims. The banner — captured by ThinkProgress here — read: “National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany – 1945.” Another sign said that “Obama takes his orders from the Rothchilds [sic],” a reference to the famous Jewish banking family often implicated in conspiracy theories. Today, Nobel Prize winner and Holoacaust survivor Elie Wiesel strongly condemned the signs, calling them “indecent and disgusting.” From his foundation’s Twitter page:
The National Jewish Democratic Council also criticized the “vile invocations of Nazi and Holocaust rhetoric” and called out GOP leaders who stood in plain view of the signs but ignored them. The Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded that the rally organizers “publicly repudiate the use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery.” Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) made similar comments in a video he posted on YouTube, singling out the rally’s organizer, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN):
I can’t believe that Congresswoman Bachmann would stand where she stood, and see those images, and not have the common decency to say, “I disagree with the use of those images.” I think that she owes the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust an apology. She owes us all an apology. And I’m waiting. We’re all waiting.
When Politico asked House Minority Leader John Boehner’s (R-OH) spokesman for comment on these signs, he simply replied, “Leader Boehner did not see any such sign. Obviously, it would be grossly inappropriate.” Today, Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) spokesman called the photograph “inappropriate.”