US army lieutenant under investigation for ‘vile’ Holocaust post on TikTok

Senior officials condemn soldier’s “racist” remarks amid inquiry 

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 01 September 2020 11:02
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Army lieutenant makes ‘vile’ TikTok Holocaust ‘joke’

A US army lieutenant has been placed under investigation following the posting of a TikTok video that mocked Holocaust victims.

Senior US army officials described the soldier’s comments as “vile” as they suspended him on Monday, pending an investigation.

It follows a video posted on the social media platform, in which lieutenant Nathan Freihofer mocked Jewish people and dismissed those who may be angered by his remarks.

“What’s a Jewish person’s favorite Pokémon?” the soldier asked his TikTok audience of almost 3 million, while laughing and answering “Ash.”

The 23-year-old then added that “If you get offended, get the f*** out because it’s a joke. Don’t be a p***y.”

According to the Military Times, Mr Freihofer’s video has since been deleted or removed from TikTok.

In a statement on Twitter, the soldier’s unit said it was “investigating reports of a soldier assigned to XVIII Airborne Corps allegedly making vile remarks on a social media video”.

That was followed by a statement from the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, which confirmed Mr Freihofer had been immediately suspended from his duties.

“The statements made in the video are not indicative of the values we live by, and there is no place for racism or bigotry in our Army or our country,” said the division.

According to US army regulations shared online, soldiers are responsible for all content they publish and should “post only those messages that demonstrate dignity and respect for self and others”.

As social media users on Monday condemned Mr Freihofer on Twitter, where the clip was also shared, US army sergeant major Michael Grinston said that the 23-year-old’s actions were “completely unacceptable”

“On social media or not, racist jokes are racist. Period”, he added.

Mr Freihofer was also condemned by the Auschwitz Museum, which said the soldier had “hurt real people & their memory” with his comments.

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