To scholars of the history of anti-Semitism and Holocaust history, however, the anti-Semitism on display was shocking, but not new. To them it was the latest example in a long history of the association between white supremacist groups and pro-Nazi sentiment in America that predates World War II. In fact, in the 1930s, many Americans admired aspects of Adolf Hitler’s agenda, and pro-Nazi Americans rallied at Madison Square Garden.
More than 75 years after the end of World War II, the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack became the latest reminder of how Nazi ideas still endure. For this year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday—which marks the Jan. 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz and has become an annual occasion to remember the 6 million Jewish people who died during the Holocaust—TIME reached out to Steve Ross, professor of History at the University of Southern California who is writing a book called The War Against Hate: American Resistance to White Supremacy After 1945, to understand where the insurrection fits in the history of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and American Nazi groups.
My mother was in Auschwitz, and my father was in Dachau. When I saw the “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt, to say it repulsed me, turned my stomach, would be an understatement. The “6MWE” T-shirts [seen at past rallies] stands for Six Million Wasn’t Enough. I would say that this is not new, that there is a continuous line of far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, that goes back to 1945, and the end of World War II.Why the Capitol Attack Makes Holocaust Remembrance Day Vital | Time