Difference between revisions of "Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt controversy"

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During the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, Robert Keith Packer's "Camp Auschwitz" shirt drew condemnation around the world, and became a symbol of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups involved in the Capitol riots. The sweatshirt was extensively photographed and videotaped[1] and Packer became a figure of public infamy.[2]

Packer's shirt featured a "death's head" insignia, with the English phrase "work brings freedom" above it. In addition, the back of his hoodie also had the word "Staff" emblazoned on it.[3] Images of his shirt went viral, and were published by news organisations around the world.[4]

It was one of the most striking[5] and enduring[6] images of the riots worldwide, because of its blatant antisemitism[7] and mockery of the genocide at Auschwitz concentration camp.[8][9][10] It drew widespread outrage[11] and "shock and disbelief on social media".[12] January is a poignant month for Holocaust survivors, as the many from the Auschwitz concentration camp were forced to go on death marches in January 1945 (before its liberation on January 27 of that year); this only worsened the impact of the images.[13]

Vox stated: "If the hoodie was meant to shock (and it surely was), it was a success. Twitter users expressed disgust."[14] One Twitter user commented, “A rioter today wore a hoodie that says Camp Auschwitz on it. When Jewish people tell you they fear for their life, start believing them."[15] Another tweeted (showing an old photo): "I lost many members of my family in ‘that place’. I’d like to meet this man and tell him the story of my dad’s cousin Anselm - the youngest to be murdered there, aged just 6. He died holding his daddy’s hand in a Zyklon B shower. This was them in happier times."[16]

One of his neighbors, reportedly said: “When you wear a T-shirt that glorifies the atrocities during WWII against the Jewish people and other people... It really hurts your heart.”[8]

On January 11, 2021, Etsy apologized as and removed an identical t-shirt from its platform.[17] On January 13, Packer was federally charged for his involvement in the riots.[2]

Documentaries

References

  1. "Capitol insurrectionist seen wearing a 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt has been arrested on federal felony charges" (in en-US). https://news.yahoo.com/capitol-insurrectionist-seen-wearing-camp-191332505.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Infamous Pro-Trump Rioter Dressed in 'Camp Auschwitz' Sweatshirt Arrested" (in en). 2021-01-13. https://www.mediaite.com/news/infamous-pro-trump-rioter-wearing-camp-auschwitz-sweatshirt-arrested-and-charged/. 
  3. "Capitol Rioter Wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' Hoodie Arrested, Released Without Bond" (in en). https://www.tmz.com/2021/01/13/capitol-rioter-camp-auschwitz-insurrectionist-arrested-virginia/. 
  4. EST, Tom Batchelor On 1/13/21 at 12:08 PM (2021-01-13). "Robert Keith Packer, named as Capitol rioter in 'Camp Auschwitz' top, arrested in Virginia" (in en). https://www.newsweek.com/robert-keith-packer-capitol-rioter-camp-auschwitz-arrested-1561265. 
  5. "Robert Keith Packer newport news virginia, Camp Auschwitz sweater | Mebere". https://www.mebere.com/robert-keith-packer-newport-news-virginia-camp-auschwitz-sweater. 
  6. "Man Photographed In 'Camp Auschwitz' Sweatshirt During U.S. Capitol Riot Is Arrested" (in en). https://www.mtpr.org/post/man-photographed-camp-auschwitz-sweatshirt-during-us-capitol-riot-arrested. 
  7. "Capitol Rioter Photographed Wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' Shirt Is Arrested in Virginia" (in EN). https://people.com/crime/capitol-rioter-camp-auschwitz-shirt-arrested/. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Man in 'Camp Auschwitz' Hoodie Charged With Multiple Federal Crimes Including Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds" (in en). 2021-01-13. https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-siege/man-in-camp-auschwitz-hoodie-charged-with-multiple-federal-crimes-including-violent-entry-and-disorderly-conduct-on-capitol-grounds/. 
  9. Dujardin, Peter. "Man who wore ‘Camp Auschwitz’ shirt at Capitol riot arrested in Newport News". https://www.dailypress.com/news/crime/dp-nw-auchwitz-sweatshirt-arrest-20210113-dmcvkgbganfs5fuuu4zk7czaxi-story.html. 
  10. "Authorities: Man in 'Camp Auschwitz' shirt at riot arrested". https://www.startribune.com/authorities-man-in-camp-auschwitz-shirt-at-riot-arrested/600010100/. 
  11. Bogel-Burroughs, Nicholas; Goldman, Adam; Benner, Katie (2021-01-13). "Rioter wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt is arrested, according to law enforcement." (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/us/politics/camp-auschwitz-rioter-arrested.html. 
  12. "Man in 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt during Capitol riot identified" (in en). https://www.kitv.com/story/43150700/man-in-camp-auschwitz-sweatshirt-during-capitol-riot-identified. 
  13. Eddy, Melissa (8 January 2021). "Amid the Rampage at the U.S. Capitol, a Sweatshirt Stirs Troubling Memories". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/08/world/europe/us-capitol-rampage-camp-auschwitz.html. 
  14. George-Parkin, Hilary (2021-01-12). "Insurrection merch shows just how mainstream extremism has become" (in en). https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22225538/capitol-insurrection-riot-sweatshirts-hats. 
  15. Adkins, Laura E.; Burack, Emily. "A guide to the hate symbols and signs on display at the US Capitol riots" (in en-US). https://www.timesofisrael.com/a-guide-to-the-hate-symbols-and-signs-on-display-at-the-us-capitol-riots/. 
  16. Romain, Federico (2021-01-11). "Identifican a Robert Keith Packer como el hombre con una camiseta que decía ‘Campo de Auschwitz’ en el Capitolio" (in es). https://ahoramismo.com/noticias/robert-keith-packer-auschwitz-capitolio/. 
  17. "Etsy sorry as 'Camp Auschwitz' T-shirt sparks fury". BBC News. January 11, 2021. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55617924. 

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