US Holocaust Museum 'deeply alarmed' after meeting of white supremacist Donald Trump supporters

Campaigners made salutes and shouted 'Hail Trump' less than a mile from Holocaust memorial

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The Independent US

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement saying it is “deeply alarmed” by the rhetoric of white supremacist supporters of Donald Trump.

Newly-released footage from a meeting of the far-right National Policy Institute in Washington DC on Saturday showed the organisation’s president, Richard Spencer, making salutes while praising the new US President-elect.

Mr Spencer told a crowd of around 200 supporters: "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!

“America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”   

He attacked “the black political machines” and claimed Hillary Clinton supporters consisted of “mutually hostile tribes only united by a hatred of ‘whitey’ – that is to say, out of a hatred of us”.

Mr Spencer also claimed in the footage - released by The Atlantic -  that the US media had been critical of Mr Trump in order to protect “Jewish interests”. 

He said: "One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem". The reference relates to a Jewish story about the golem, a clay giant that is brought to life to protect Jews.

Mr Spencer also reffered to journalists “in the original German” as "lugenpresse" – a term used by Hitler’s followers to attack parts of the media seen as disloyal to the Nazi’s aims.

Following the event, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum released a statement saying it was “deeply alarmed at the hateful rhetoric at a conference of white nationalists held on November 19…just blocks from the Museum”.

It said: “The targeting of Jews was central to Nazi racist ideology. The Germans attempted to kill every Jewish man, woman and child they could find. Nazi racism extended to other groups.

“The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.

“The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a living memorial to the Holocaust, inspires citizens and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.”

The election of Mr Trump has raised fears about a rise in support for far-right groups, sometimes referred to as the “alt right”. Mr Trump’s new chief strategist, Mike Bannon, previously edited Breibart News – the fari-right’s main news outlet. 

Mr Bannon, who has himeslf been accused of anti-Semitism, has publicly condemned racism and said he was only an “economic nationalist”. 

A spokesman for Mr Trump said: “President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American.

“To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds.”