Many people were arrested after the riots on the Capitol. by the Forward

In court for mobbing the Capitol, they compared themselves to persecuted Jews

One of the defining images of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots was a protester wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt leading the charge into the Senate chamber. Neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups were heavily represented in the crowd that day. One insurrectionist was even dressed up as Adolf Hitler.

Yet when the rioters had their day in court, quite a few referred to the Jewish persecution of the Holocaust in their defense. Attempting to play the victim didn’t get them very far.

Here are some who tried:

Jenna Ryan, aka “Insurrection Barbie”

Jenna Ryan, a prominent right-wing influencer, flew to Washington on a private jet for the protests and broadcast her breach of the Capitol building live on social media. “We just stormed the Capitol,” she said later that day on Twitter. “It was one of the best days of my life.”

She admitted it was a “big mistake” in court.

These Capitol rioters compared themselves to persecuted Jews

But in an interview with NBC News a week before she reported to prison, she reiterated her grievance that whites were a persecuted minority in today’s America.

“They’re not seeing me as human,” she said. “That is the epitome of a scapegoat — just like they did that to Jews in Germany. Those were scapegoats. And I believe that people who are Caucasian are being turned into evil in front of the media.”

Ryan, 51, began serving her 60-day sentence on Dec. 21.

Oath Keepers: ‘SCOTUS could not have foreseen the Holocaust’

Two members of the Oath Keepers, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls one of the largest far-right antigovernment groups in the U.S., made a wild comparison to the Holocaust in their complaint about required vaccinations for jailed protesters.

Attorneys for Kelly Meggs and Kenneth Harrelson, respectively the leader and a member of the Florida chapter of the group, submitted a motion opposing the vaccination requirement that far exceeded the 45-page limit on such filings. Page 46 contained a section titled “SCOTUS could not have foreseen the Holocaust,” a reference to the “Supreme Court of the United States.”

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta was not amused.

“The court will not allow this case to become a forum for bombastic arguments,” Mehta wrote, dismissing it outright.

Meggs and other Oath Keepers have been accused of trying to find House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the riots.

These Capitol rioters compared themselves to persecuted Jews

Schindler’s List movie reviewer

In case you didn’t think it could get any weirder, Anna Morgan Lloyd, who pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol, submitted a review of Schindler’s List in her plea for a probationary sentence. Reading more like a sixth-grade book report than a critical analysis, Lloyd concluded her summary of the movie with an aside about her Holocaust-denying son-in-law.

“He says ‘Only’ a million Jews died,” Lloyd, 49, wrote. “One person being killed because of their faith is too many!”

She also read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and watched “Tulsa Burning” as part of her attempted penance. Her lawyer hitched her sentencing plea to these reports, which she said showed desire to “educate herself” and “learn the American history she was never taught in school.”

She was sentenced to 36 months’ probation and fined $500.

A plea from jail

During the Sept. 17 “Justice for J6” rally — a sparsely-attended protest organized by former Donald Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, one speaker quoted from a letter written by a jailed rioter who complained that “this reminds me of how the Jewish people were treated by the Nazis.” The woman, who news reports did not identify, also called the D.C. jail a “gulag,” according to the Daily Beast.

These Capitol rioters compared themselves to persecuted Jews


Louis Keene

Louis Keene

Louis Keene is a staff reporter at the Forward. He can be reached at or on Twitter @thislouis.

Holocaust, Schindler’s List, and other Jan. 6 excuses

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In court for mobbing the Capitol, they compared themselves to persecuted Jews

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