The Republican Party has once again stumbled facefirst into controversy after an offensive post was shared on the Harris County Republican Party’s Facebook page. Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and whoever runs the account somehow thought it would be a good idea to exploit the solemn occasion to attack their political opponents.
“Leftism kills. In memory of the 6 million Jews lost to Nazi hatred in the name of National Socialism. We will never forget. #holocaust #holocaustmemorial #holocaustremembranceday,” the post read.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the post was eventually deleted and that Vlad Davidiuk, the Communications Director for the Harris County Republican Party refused to discuss the story in depth at first, and instead offered a tepid obfuscation by insisting that Nazis identified themselves as ” the National Socialist Workers Party.”
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While he is technically correct that the Nazis did refer to themselves as a socialist workers party, they were beyond any reasonable argument a right-wing party, modeled at least in part on Italian fascism, a far-right wing movement. The fact that the Nazis called themselves a socialist workers party doesn’t make it so, just like North Korea calling itself the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea doesn’t make it democratic or a republic.
Davidiuk followed up his original comments after the post was deleted. He explained that the group decided to remove it because they don’t want to distract from remembering the Jewish people who perished in the Holocaust, before once again pointing out that Nazis referred to themselves as the National Socialist Workers Party.
The Houston Chronicle also spoke to Dean Marks, a spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League. She condemned the incident in no uncertain terms.
“The Holocaust should never be used for political purposes. It’s unfortunate that someone at the Harris County Republican Party thought that would be an appropriate message for Holocaust Remembrance Day. It wasn’t leftism that killed in the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism and blind hatred led to the deaths of millions. We are glad the Harris County GOP replaced the offensive post,” said Marks.
The myth that Nazis were actually leftists has been a popular talking point from Republicans in recent years. As their party has succumbed increasingly to white nationalist sentiments and cryptofascism, their bad faith argument about the true nature of Nazism has been used to distract from the deep faults within their own movement. It must be rejected and called out at every turn. Taking advantage of the Holocaust to push a political agenda is inexcusable.