Laura Silverman, a Jewish author, freelance editor and publishing consultant, was recently subjected to antisemitic abuse online after making a negative tweet about Donald Trump.
Silverman was sent an image of Pepe the Frog, an internet meme often favoured by the far right, standing in front of Auschwitz and captioned “You get a gold star!”
Having reported the image, Silverman was subjected to further antisemitic abuse. Several told her to “nap in an oven” and she was sent an image of the Auschwitz gates photoshopped to read “not an argument” – an attempt to imply that Silverman had used the Holocaust to silence opposition, despite the fact that she had been actively victimized by far-right trolls.
Silverman said that the images she was sent “terrified” her. She was sent pictures of emaciated Auschwitz inmates and human remains captioned “Straight outta Auschwitz”. She received an email from someone using the pseudonym “Anuddah Shoah” that read “They know about you!”: You Zionist K*ke. Do you really think you can stop Mr. Trump? You Israeli supremacists have no chance”.
She also said that as she commented on the Republican National Convention someone told her “It’s time for you to flee for Israel. If you wait too long it’s the ovens for you”.
These are particularly nasty examples of the memory of the Holocaust being routinely used to threaten, intimidate and belittle Jewish people who dare to express an opinion in public.