Holocaust deniers bid for US Congress in at least two districts | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 07.07.2018
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Holocaust deniers bid for US Congress in at least two districts

The era of President Donald Trump has rejuvenated white nationalism in the US alongside a spike in anti-Semitism. At least two far-right candidates are on the ballots for November, and at least one more may join them.

As anti-Semitism surges in the United States, according to numbers from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), at least two self-declared Holocaust deniers will be on the ballot representing the Republican Party in US congressional elections in November, while a third candidate is contending in a Republican primary in the state of Wisconsin to replace the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who is retiring.

In February, the ADL reported anti-Semitic incidents jumped by 60 percent in the US in 2017 compared with the previous year. The report labeled it "the largest single-year increase on record."

The Republican party has distanced itself from the candidates, although the state party initially supported John Fitzgerald in California's 11th Congressional District because the state party rule was to automatically endorse a candidate when that candidate was the only Republican on the ballot.

The state party has since abandoned its automatic endorsement rule amid vows to begin vetting potential candidates more closely. Nonetheless, in a reliably Democratic district, Fitzgerald won 23 percent of the vote in last month's primary.

Holocaust called a 'lie'

Listen to audio 09:45

How widespread is anti-Semitism in Germany?

During an interview last week with Andrew Carrington Hitchcock, an openly anti-Semitic radio host, Fitzgerald declared: "Everything we've been told about the Holocaust is a lie. So my entire campaign, for the most part, is about exposing this lie."

In Illinois' 3rd Congressional District, Arthur Jones, who has acknowledged his past ties to the American Nazi Party, will also be representing the Republican party in November's election.

Jones openly denies on his website that the Holocaust happened, and claims Mexicans want to reclaim a vast swathe of US territory stretching from Texas to California.

Read more: Trump posts photos with Nazi reenactors

Both the Illinois Republican Party and the national party have repudiated his anti-Semitic views and his candidacy.

Paul Nehlen, Republican candidate for US Congress, speaks in front of a clutch of TV microphones.

White nationalist Paul Nehlen is running for Congress

Fitzgerald and Jones are running in reliably Democratic districts, so they're not likely to be elected.

Wisconsin's primary is still five weeks away, but in the state's 1st Congressional District Paul Nehlen, described as a white nationalist, is seen as having a credible chance of winning the nomination in that conservative district.

Nehlen (above) had his Twitter account blocked earlier this year because of tweets that were deemed racist or anti-Semitic.

The anti-Semitic incidents reported by the ADL including more than 1,000 cases of harassment, including more than 160 bomb threats, an increase of 41 percent over 2016. It also counted more than 950 incidents of vandalism, a jump of 86 percent over the previous year.

Trump was roundly criticized for failing to condemn the white nationalist behind a deadly attack against anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. The suspect drove his car into a crowd, killing one woman.

Watch video 12:00

'Fear is being promoted by politicians'

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