Five high school students in Colorado were expelled for joining a “Nazi-themed” group on Facebook, which called for the “execution” of Jews and black people.
Quoting police in the city of Boulder, the Guardian said Friday that the five were among around 15 students who recently took part in the “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat,” in which participants talked about “killing all Jews and n*****s” and were urged to “recruit more members so they can complete their ‘mission.'”
Members of the group referred to themselves by “Nazi-themed nicknames,” such the Fuhrer and military ranks Gruppenfuhrer and Sturmbannführer. They also discussed “the final solution” — a reference to the Nazi plan to eradicate the Jewish people — making comments such as, “You can hang Jews on trees, shoot them right in the knees. Gas as many as you please.”
Regional Anti-Defamation League head Scott Levin attributed the incident to “hateful rhetoric going on in this country right now” that he said “has just empowered some teenagers,” the Guardian reported.
“It was a shock to the community,” Levin said. “It isn’t as if there is any identifiable group [in Boulder] that is advocating this.”
Levin’s comments were an apparent nod to the growth of the alt-right, a conservative movement rooted in white nationalism whose followers often delve into anti-Semitism and race baiting. Members of the alt-right often identify themselves as Donald Trump supporters, and the Trump camp has been criticized for sharing tweets and messages that originated on alt-right websites and discussion boards.
Boulder news website Daily Camera said that the Facebook group came to light in late September, when one of its members committed suicide “to show his allegiance to the Nazi party and the killing of Jewish people.”
Local police decided not to press charges against any of the students involved on the grounds that there was “no evidence or documentation to support there being any credible threat,” the Daily Camera said.
Levin told the Boulder outlet that the ADL believes “law enforcement and the school district are both taking appropriate action” in this matter. He added that, “it’s very disheartening when you hear this type of thing is taking place.”
The ADL has repeatedly urged Trump to disavow messages originating among his supporters on the alt-right.
But Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and key adviser, Jared Kushner, said in July that the candidate should not be held accountable for online anti-Semitic attacks on his critics and opponents.
“I am appalled that anyone… would have to endure that kind of hateful rhetoric,” Kushner wrote. “But blaming Donald Trump for the most outrageous things done by people who claim to support him is no different from blaming Bernie Sanders for the people who stomp and spit on American flags at his rallies.”
JTA contributed to this report