Trump Campaign Ad Displays Symbol Nazis Used To Designate Political Prisoners
President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is running an ad that displays a marking once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
According to the report, the red inverted triangle “appeared in Facebook ads run by Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as the ‘Team Trump’ account on Facebook” alongside text warning of “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups.”
The ad also asks “users to sign a petition about antifa, a loose collection of anti-fascist activists whom the Trump administration has sought to tie to recent violence, in spite of arrest records showing their involvement is trivial.”
The Post reported that the “red inverted triangle was first used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties.”
The marking “forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a red inverted triangle superimposed on a yellow triangle.”
The ads began running on Wednesday, with some still active on Thursday.
Other versions of the same ad use different images, The Post reported, including a yield sign and a stop sign.
A Trump campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The campaign’s use of the red inverted triangle drew immediate criticism:
“I think it’s a highly problematic use of a symbol that the Nazis used to identify their political enemies,” said Jacob S. Eder, a historian of modern Germany at the Barenboim–Said Akademie in Berlin. “It’s hard to imagine it’s done on purpose, because I’m not sure if the vast majority of Americans know or understand the sign, but it’s very, very careless to say the least.”
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a progressive advocacy group, also blasted the move, writing on Twitter: “This isn’t just one post. This is dozens of carefully targeted ads from the official pages of Mike Pence, Donald Trump, and Team Trump. All paid for by Trump and the Republican National Committee. All spreading lies and genocidal imagery.”