Robert Keith Packer, Man Who Wore ‘Camp Auschwitz’ Hoodie At Capitol Riots, Arrested
Amid the deadly Capitol Hill riots on Wednesday, a bearded rioter was spotted wearing a black anti-Semitic “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie. On Tuesday, the man seen in the footage, Robert Keith Packer, was arrested by police in Newport News, Virginia.
The rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the long-anticipated January 6 joint congressional session as Congress and Vice President Mike Pence counted the Electoral College votes that confirmed the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
Among rioters was a man with an anti-Semitic sweatshirt that read “Camp Auschwitz,” a reference to a Nazi extermination camp during the Third Reich’s genocide campaign against Jews during World War II where 1.1 million died.
The sweatshirt, which is emblazoned with the phrase, “work brings freedom,” which were the words on the concentration camp’s gates.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 7, 2021
The image spread across social media and news outlets, including in Britain, Germany and Poland.
Jewish groups were quick to react. “A company with a presence in NYC – home to over a million Jews – is selling this t-shirt. Making jokes about the Holocaust is never, EVER going to be funny,” the New York City Jewish Caucus wrote in a Friday morning tweet.
A company with a presence in NYC – home to over a million Jews – is selling this t-shirt.
Making jokes about the Holocaust is never, EVER going to be funny.
Please join us in emailing the company to express your displeasure.
— NYC Jewish Caucus (@NYCJewishCaucus) January 8, 2021
The pullover’s inscription is an English translation of the German phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei,” which hung over the infamous Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland — one of the Holocaust’s most notorious and deadliest concentration camps.
Packer was seen on the British news station ITV with rioters breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s office.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 6, 2021
— ITV News (@itvnews) January 6, 2021