White Supremacist Shooter Targets D.C. Holocaust Museum
A long-time neo-Nazi and white supremacist is the lone suspect in a shooting rampage at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
On June 10, 2009, James Wenneker Von Brunn, 88, entered the museum armed with a rifle. A quick-witted security guard spotted the weapon and a deadly gunfight ensued.
The guards were successful in protecting the museum and its visitors from harm. Tragically, however, the 39-year-old security guard who first took action later died from the gunshot wound he sustained during the incident. Von Brunn was shot in the head and remains hospitalized.
Scores of families and school children from across the country were inside touring the museum at the time of the incident.
Von Brunn, of Annapolis and Easton, Maryland, has a lengthy history of hate and anti-Semitism. For years he wrote of his perceived persecution by the Jews, leading to his 2002 self-published book, Tob Shebbe Goyim Harog! (To Kill the Best Gentiles!), which he described as "the racialist guide for the preservation and nurture of the white gene pool." Its thesis reflects the standard refrain of white supremacists for many decades, that Jews are on a mission of "destruction of all Gentile nations through miscegenation and wars," with references to ZOG, the "Zionist Occupied Government" of the United States.
Von Brunn repeatedly focused his anger and hatred on two main subjects: the Federal Reserve, which he believed was controlled by Jewish bankers, and the Holocaust, which, like many Holocaust deniers, he contended never occurred.
In 2004, he wrote to an Australian Holocaust denial e-mail list that it was "time to FLUSH all 'Holocaust' Memorials." Von Brunn was fond of repeating the mantra "Hitler's Worst Mistake: He Didn't Gas the Jews."
In 1981, he traveled from New Hampshire, where he was living at the time, to Washington, D.C., to the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Board. Armed with numerous weapons, he ran past guards up to the second floor, where the Board was meeting at the time. However, police caught up with him outside the meeting room and arrested him.
Von Brunn was charged with attempted armed kidnapping, second-degree burglary, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a pistol without a license and two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon. In 1983 he was convicted and sentenced to four to 11 years in prison, of which he eventually served six and a half years.