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Extremism


Lyndon LaRouche, Holocaust Imagery & the Health Care Debate

Updated: August 28, 2009


Posted: August 21, 2009

Conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche, leader of a fringe political cult that defies categorization, and his supporters have contributed to the divisiveness surrounding the public debate on health care reform by producing and disseminating materials comparing President Barack Obama and other government officials to Hitler, Nazis and fascists, and by attending Congressional "town hall" meeting and other events around the country.

 

LaRouche's organization is built upon a cadre of loyal supporters and publications that promote his conspiratorial world views. LaRouche, 86, 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. For many years, LaRouche has employed Holocaust imagery to express his opposition to a wide range of political issues.

 

Since May 2009, LaRouche and his network of supporters, many of which are part of the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC), have focused on health care reform, producing signs, banners, pamphlets and other items that employ Nazi imagery, including the Hitler comparisons.

 

In a May 4, 2009, LPAC statement, LaRouche described the Obama administration's health care proposals as "Nazi stuff…We're looking for what is the difference between President Obama and Hitler on health policy. We've done a lot of research, and we've not yet been able to discover the difference."

 

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 proposal as a "Nazi health plan." In August, LaRouche said Obama is "impeachable" because his health care proposal is based on "cost-effectiveness criteria--exactly the infamous 'T-4' policy imposed by Adolf Hitler in 1939."

 

LaRouche spokesperson Nancy Spannaus said LaRouche and his organization "have declared war against Obama's so-called health care reform because it is a direct copy of the policy Hitler declared in October 1939, when Hitler issued the order for euthanasia against those determined, by a board of medical experts, to have 'lives unworthy to be lived.'"

 

"Our Obama mustache poster," Spannaus said, "symbolizes the fact that the president is attempting to implement a Hitler health care policy…At any town hall, you'll know LaRouche people are there if you just look for the mustache."

 

LPAC members have promoted these offensive materials at many public forums around the country. For example:

 

  • August 25, 2009 – LaRouche supporters set up a booth featuring signs comparing Obama to Hitler outside a Congressional town hall meeting in Reston, Virginia.

  • August 25, 2009 – A LaRouche supporter held a large sign of Obama with a Hitler mustache at a Congressional town hall meeting in Tacoma, Washington.

  • August 25, 2009 – A LaRouche organizer interviewed outside a town hall meeting in Springfield, Virginia, said that she was there to protest health care reform because "it's the matter of stopping this, this fascist Nazi health bill."
  • August 17, 2009 – A woman identified by the LPAC Web site as a member of the LaRouche Youth Movement held up a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache at a town meeting in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and asked Congressman Barney Frank, "Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy?"  
  • August 17, 2009 – LaRouche supporters held signs of Obama with a Hitler mustache outside a Congressional town hall meeting in Dallas, Texas.  
  • August 6, 2009 – LaRouche supporters protested a town meeting in Romulus, Michigan, holding up a poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache. The several hundred attendees of the meeting, according to an EIR article, went "wild with approval" at the sight of the sign.
  • June 16, 2009 – LPAC members held up a large banner on the street in Chicago, Illinois, with a picture of Obama wearing a Hitler mustache and the words, "Is this your President? Ask your local health care provider."
  • June 12, 2009 – LPAC members went to a town meeting led by Obama in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and circulated a pamphlet titled "Stop Obama's Nazi Health Plan!"
  • June 4, 2009 – LPAC member Alan Egre went to a town meeting in Detroit, Michigan, and carried a poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache and the slogan, "Is this your president?" According to the LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review, Egre was arrested but was released after 2 hours. LaRouche responded: "This is a real civil rights case. The President of the United States is recommending the same policy as Hitler on health care, and the Detroit police are trying to prevent the truth from being told…Why is a Michigan law enforcement official supporting fascism?"

In addition to attending public forums, LaRouche supporters have brought their anti-health care reform message to university and college campuses. Signs by LaRouche supporters featuring Obama with a Hitler mustache and other Holocaust references condemning Obama's health care plan have appeared at several campuses around the country.  

In early September, members of LPAC held signs that read, "LaRouche: Stop Obama's Nazi Health Plan!" at Temple University. A leaflet the group distributed featured a picture with the words, "Kill the HMO's before Obama let's them kill you!" LaRouche supporters have also appeared at the University of Washington, California State Fullerton and California State University, Northridge (CSUN). At CSUN, LPAC members who are not students at the university set up a table condemning the health care plan during the university's Greek Week.

LaRouche supporters have also set up tables with similar information outside several Motor Vehicle Administration offices in Maryland. LaRouche tables have appeared in public areas and outside shopping centers in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ventura, California, and elsewhere.

LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review has been particularly caustic in its criticism of Obama and the administration's health care proposal.  For example:

  • August 28, 2009 – An article charges that Obama is suffering from an "August meltdown" because of opposition to the administration's health care proposals.  "LaRouche's intervention, exposing the Nazi nature of the Obama health-care reform initiative…catalyzed what has become a mass movement, with the LPAC poster of Obama sporting a Hitler mustache having become its most identifiable symbol."
  • July 31, 2009 – LaRouche described Obama as "unstable" and alleged that the administration's approach to health care is characterized by a "Nazi mentality" because of its disregard for human life and its willingness to use "force, not reason, to work one's will." LaRouche went so far as to argue that the difference between Obama and Hitler is that only Obama is willing to pursue his "fascist assault" in public.  
  • June 26, 2009 – An article arguing that Obama is not doing enough to protect Americans from swine flu notes, "Indeed, the Obama health-care 'reform' plan, while gutting everything that President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood for, is totally in line with Britain's Prince Philip and Prince Charles, who preach Malthusian genocide, and would welcome a biological holocaust that would wipe out 80% of the human race."
  • June 12, 2009 – The issue's front cover contains the title of the feature article: "Evidence for a new Nuremberg: Obama's Nazi Health Plan" with a black and white picture of the 1945-46 Nuremberg trials. Another article in the issue contains the allegation that "The President is fully guilty of a policy of genocide," and that provisions of the health care will pay for "euthanasia" but not health care and has "euphemisms" just like a Nazi Germany euthanasia program.
  • May 22, 2009 – In an article titled, "Obama has Revived Hitler's Genocide Program," LaRouche says, "The Hitler program has been revived by the Obama Administration. This is straight Nazi stuff. It's not a quibble; it's not an interpretation. This is a direct copy of the philosophy of the Nazis…People who condone this are criminals, because they either knew, or should have known, what they are doing." The issue also contains an article describing doctors and administration officials that have worked on the health care reform proposal as "Nazi doctors."
  • May 14, 2009 – LaRouche charged that Obama would defend not providing care to the elderly or terminally ill and that Obama had to "have been brainwashed" by his advisors. An article by one of the EIR editors alleges that the health care proposal was developed by Jack Kevorkian. The issue also contained an editorial piece titled "Stop Nazi Health Care!"

LPAC takes credit for injecting Holocaust rhetoric into the health care debate. An August 7 press release claims that the opposition to health care reform is "informed by the aggressive campaign which LaRouche PAC has been waging" and that the group's "aggressive exposé of the Nazi T4 program, which is the model for Obama's health 'reform,'" is now also being used by other health care reform opponents. In another press release issued on August 12, LPAC affirms that they are now escalating their "interventions into the town meetings" in order to protest the "Nazi health plan" and to promote LaRouche's alternative proposals for solving the financial crisis.

 

LaRouche and his supporters, who have employed Holocaust imagery to express opposition to various issues over many years, are not solely responsible for the widespread use of Holocaust imagery to condemn health care reform proposals.

 

These comparisons have appeared from a variety of sources. In March 2009, for example, the Traditional Values Coalition, a relatively marginal Christian conservative group based in Anaheim, California, posted to its web site a picture of Obama dressed as a Nazi, substituting his campaign logo for the swastika. As far back as May 2008, numerous YouTube videos and other online media featured such images.

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