New York, NY, August 25, 2009 … The Holocaust imagery and comparisons of President Barack Obama to Hitler that have become ubiquitous at the town hall protests in the public debate over health care reform, have been strongly promoted and fueled by Lyndon LaRouche and his network of supporters, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Since May 2009, LaRouche and his network have produced signs, banners, pamphlets and other items that employ Nazi imagery, including materials comparing President Obama and other government officials to Hitler, Nazis and fascists.
LaRouche, 86, a longtime anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and perennial presidential candidate, has a long record of advancing conspiracy theories linking the AIDS crisis, the drug epidemic and international financial crises to prominent Jews and Jewish organizations. He has also argued that the "Zionist lobby" and "Jewish gangsters" control American foreign policy, and called the Holocaust a "thesis" produced by the "Zionist demagogue" where one and a half-million Jews, not six million, died.
"It is bad enough that Holocaust imagery has entered into the debate over health care reform, but it is worse when you realize that the major source of this imagery is a man who has a long track record of anti-Semitic fear mongering," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Nothing LaRouche does is subtle. It is in your face and, as usual, he has encouraged his supporters to employ Holocaust analogies. The Nazi imagery helps LaRouche accomplish his goal of changing the subject and drowning out any meaningful public discussion of this important issue."
ADL's Center on Extremism, which monitors extremist rhetoric and groups, has assembled on its Web site examples of how LaRouche and his network of supporters, many of which are part of the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC), have produced signs, banners, pamphlets and other items that employ Nazi imagery and introduced them at many public forums around the country.
Such Nazi imagery has appeared at many public forums, including at the August 17 event held by Congressman Barney Frank, where a member of the LaRouche Youth Movement held up for the cameras a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache at a town meeting in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
The imagery is reinforced by LaRouche's statements about the Obama administration's health care proposals, which he has described as "Nazi stuff." In his publication, Executive Intelligence Review, and on his Web site, LaRouche consistently refers to the reform proposals as "Hitlerian" and "genocidal" and almost exclusively refers to the proposals as a "Nazi health plan."
LaRouche and his supporters have employed Holocaust imagery in the past to express opposition to various issues, but such imagery has rarely seeped into the mainstream as visibly as it has in the controversy over health care reform.