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Holocaust survivor slams Trump’s ‘Heil Hitler’ salute: ‘He’s asking them to swear allegiance to him’

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A Holocaust survivor and longtime watchdog of right-wing extremist groups said Donald Trump is playing a dangerous game by leading followers in a Nazi-style pledge.

Abraham Foxman, the former director of the Anti-Defamation League, harshly criticized the Republican presidential candidate for asking supporters to raise their right hands in salute and promise to vote for him in the Florida primary election, reported the Times of Israel.

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“As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, to see an audience of thousands of people raising their hands in what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America,” said Foxman, who was born in Poland in 1940 and was saved from the Nazis by his Catholic nanny.

He told the newspaper that the gesture’s symbolism was obvious and troubling.

“It is a fascist gesture,” Foxman said. “He is smart enough — he always tells us how smart he is — to know the images that this evokes. Instead of asking his audience to pledge allegiance to the United States of America, which in itself would be a little bizarre, he’s asking them to swear allegiance to him.”

The Nazi Party adopted the stiff-armed salute to signal obedience to leader Adolph Hitler, and it’s still used today by right-wing extremists.

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“We’ve seen this sort of thing at rallies of neo-Nazis. We’ve seen it at rallies of white supremacists. But to see it at a rally for a legitimate candidate for the presidency of the United States is outrageous,” Foxman said.

Trump also warned supporters who took the pledge that “bad things” would happen to them if they broke their sworn pledge to vote for him — and Foxman was particularly disturbed by that.

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“This is so over the top for a man who really doesn’t come out of the underground,” Foxman said. “He is a man of the world. Even though he proclaims he doesn’t know who David Duke was, or the other white supremacists, we know very well that he knows. So he’s playing to an image.”

Trump continues to lead the GOP presidential field despite — or possibly because of — a steady stream of outrageous and controversial remarks, and Foxman warned that this might have dangerously emboldened the real estate tycoon and reality TV star.

“I think he was intoxicated with all the things that he’s already got away with, and it led him to this,” Foxman said. “This is the summit of his own intoxication with what he perceives as his leadership quality.”

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Trump’s underlying message of violence is “increasingly appealing” to his supporters, Foxman said, and threatens to “break all the taboos of civil behavior.”

“When he said, ‘I can walk down the street on Fifth Avenue and kill somebody and my supporters will not desert me,’ he knows exactly what buttons he’s pushing,” Foxman said. “Or when that guy interrupted his speech. People in that situation may think internally, ‘Oh, I want to punch him in the mouth.’ But you don’t say it, you don’t say it, because it’s not civilized. But he said it and it was applauded.”

Foxman, who led the ADL from 1987 until his retirement last year, said Saturday’s rally was an unprecedented moment in American political history.

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“You can find some authoritarian, semi-fascist tinges in Southern politics during the segregationist era,” he said. “But there’s never been anything like this, and nothing on this scale.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Missouri official choose Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ for swearing-in ceremony instead of ‘The Bible’

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A Missouri county official is being both celebrated and attacked after a decision to forgo The Bible for her swearing-in ceremony and opted for a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

The Friendly Atheist at Patheos captured the story, posting a photo of St. Louis City Councilmember Kelli Dunaway's children holding a copy of the book while she took her oath of office.

This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg

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In a permission tweet, President Donald Trump announced that his presidency is the only thing keeping the New York Times in business. Yet, somehow, they're also attacking him and lying about him.

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https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163238629730373632

Since taking office, subscriptions for The Times have increased dramatically. According to an August report, The Times boasted a 4.7 million increase in subscribers for the second quarter. Their revenue growth was 5.2 percent. It certainly is a modest increase, but it's also an increase in an era when newspapers are struggling to survive.

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