Nazis carrying Swastika flags interrupt Holocaust memorial event chanting 'six million more'
This weekend in Russellville, Arkansas, a march of remembrance took place to honour those who were affected by the Holocaust during World War Two. While the majority of those present were there to pay their respects to the dead and remember those who survived the horrific ordeal, a smaller faction had showed up in order to terrorise marchers and spout antisemitic comments.
The group, who carried Swastika flags and signs which said, "The Holocaust didn't happen but it should have", was comprised of white nationalists. They flashed the white supremacist 'OK' sign and chanted things such as "six million more" - a reference to the six million jews who lost their lives between 1941 and 1945.
This is the disgusting moment the Shield Wall Network (SWN) crashed the memorial:
"It made me feel terrible, it made me feel terrible for my friends. They were talking to us like we were pieces of nothing," said Joyce Griffis, who organised the memorial march. Even so, she still spoke with with an open mind and a kind heart. "We will accept you if you accept us," she said. "We want you to have your life, but we want our life also, and we want the truth to be known about history."
Meanwhile, Randy Cook, who led everyone in prayer at the end of the remembrance event, insisted that the small group of nationalists were not any reflection on the larger community of Russelville, or, indeed, of Arkansas.
"It's just a few people stirring things up," he said. "Russellville is a wonderful community, and we've never had any trouble. They don't reflect Russellville at all."
However, it should be acknowledged that this is not an isolated event. In fact, incidents like this have been happening more and more in recent years.
At the same event this weekend, the Nazis interrupted a speech given by Sir Beryl Wolfson, a 96-year-old veteran who witnessed the liberation of Dachau, a concentration camp, in 1945.
Robert Vork, an associate professor of English at Arkansas Tech University described watching Wolfson struggle to hold it together as the supremacists hurled abuse at him.
"One of the most moving, revealing and angering things I've ever witnessed was watching Beryl Wolfson, a World War II veteran in his 90s, in a wheelchair, struggling to put his terrible memories Dachau into words and almost breaking down at one point because the Nazis [White Nationalists] were shouting obscenities at him," he said. "That courageous old man's shaking voice is a call to all of us."
The group was organised by Billy Roper, a known neo-Nazi, and his group 'Shield Wall Network'. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Roper was born into a family of Klansmen and joined a "racist skinhead gang in Arkansas as a teenager" before going on to organise his own hate groups.
In a statement on his ideology, he once said: "Every non-White on the planet has to become extinct. We need to remove these minor-league amateur races out of the game, and refine the playoff brackets a bit, if you get my meaning."
In spite of his feeble attempts at interrupting the memorial march, however, those who turned out to support the movement still triumphed in doing so.