According to a local CBS station for Eugene, Oregon, a pair of self-proclaimed white nationalist men caused a campus uproar at the University of Oregon on the morning of April 20th as they attempted to celebrate the birthday of Adolf Hitler. Two men, Jimmy Marr and ‘Chad’, reportedly parked a swastika-emblazoned truck in the heart of campus while promoting a Holocaust denial film. On the tailgate of the truck was a message that read: “No more terror. No more war. America, stop being Israel’s whore” (News Staff). According to the Eugene Weekly, Jimmy Marr—owner of the truck—is well known as a racist and antisemite and his truck has repeatedly been seen around Oregon displaying messages such as “Jews Lies Matter” and “Trump: Do the White Thing” (Nguyen). When Marr and his friend appeared on campus to supposedly throw Hitler a ‘birthday party,’ officers did not engage the men, but members of the campus community were photographed shouting at the men and attempting to debate their presence. Rabbi Jack Melul—director of the Jewish educational and social group Akiva on campus—even sang “The Jewish people are still alive” in Hebrew while Marr and Chad were engaged in an argument with students. After about 45 minutes on campus, the pair voluntarily drove away and their leave was met with applause. According to campus police, the pair acted within the legal boundaries of free speech and their truck was parked legally.
Despite the fact that there were no other physical ‘birthday parties’ thrown in Adolf Hitler’s honor, Forward reports that many neo-nazis took to the internet in celebration of the dictator’s birthday on April 20th. The Daily Stormer changed the banner of their website to read “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler” and Richard Spencer’s website altright.com made tribute to Hitler with a post entitled, “The Peaceful Origins of Nazi Violence” (Davidson). According to Forward, Twitter was “particularly active in sending its regards to Hitler,” with many people tweeting out their support of Nazi Germany. While we do not know whether some of these tweets were meant as ‘jokes’ or not, they remind us that there are still many people out there who, at the very least, are willing to make light of white supremacy, and at the very most, actively support Hitler’s vision.