Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Shooting in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC

Shooting in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC
Connie Lawn’s 4th Kiwi Blog – June 17, 2009


From Connie Lawn in Washington DC

A lone gunman burst into the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the heart of the nation’s capitol. James Von Braun, 88 years old, professed a hatred for Jews and blacks. He killed one security guard, and was then shot by other guards. He walked in with a rifle, and began shooting as soon as he crossed through the doors. His rants are published on a hate filled website.

Thousands of visitors were in the Museum at the time, and were already quite emotional from viewing the graphic exhibits. They hit the ground and tried to shelter loved ones during the brief gun battle.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum is one of the most popular, yet painful, museums in the United States. It is a learning institution about the rise of the Nazis and the horrors of the Hitler era. Millions of people have visited it over the years, along with 85 heads of state. About 6 million Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and mentally disabled people were exterminated by the Nazis. Millions more died throughout Europe and Asia in the Second World War.

There is a New Zealand flag on display in the Museum, along with those of many other countries. They represent the nations whose soldiers took part in the liberation of some of the Nazi concentration camps. New Zealand officials braved the bitter cold, during ceremonies when the museum was officially opened in 1993.

No one can know what triggered an attack at this time. But, President Obama’s recent visit to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, in Germany, may have set off the shooter. The Holocaust Museum may increase its security, although most buildings in Washington have several guards and weapons detectors. It is hoped this will prove to be an isolated incident.

Since the shooting there has been an increase in some hate mail traffic on the internet. But, there has also been an upsurge of visitors to the Holocaust Museum. Several thousand visitors line up each day, in defiance of the haters. One son of Von Braun says he wishes his father had died. He said, his anti Semitic and anti Black views made his own life hell. But the Mother of the slain guard says she forgives the shooter, and hopes his son can do the same. The 39 year old guard, Stephen T. Johns, has become a hero. A scholarship foundation has been established for his wife and his young son.

*************

Connie Lawn has a passionate love for NZ. She worked for Radio New Zealand for 20 years, and then for Radio Live for a few years. Connie has covered the White House and the world since 1968. Her other passion is skiing, and she calls herself "the skiing White House reporter." Her ski stories are on dcski.com and other outlets. Connie is also heard on thousands of radio stations, but firmly believes the internet is the future. She can be reached at connie@scoop.co.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Myopia Of The Business News

Listening to the business news is a bit like eavesdropping on the radio transmissions from space aliens. There is no discernible connection between the concerns of the captains of these space ships – the bank economists and the finance house spokesmen – and the concerns of ordinary listeners back on Planet Earth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Clinton, Sanders, Trump And Cruz

Come November, the world will have a new US president-elect and the least unlikely winner still looks to be Hillary Clinton. Right now though, the polls are showing a rocky stretch ahead for her in the immediate future. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Sean Penn And El Chapo - Vanity, Hollywood And Reportage

Leaving aside Sean Penn’s personal history with drug use, let alone alleged efforts to get a slice of celebrity in portraying a drug lord, the furore surrounding his interview with El Chapo is instructive in a few respects. One is worth noting: the blind rage it has provoked with some US political figures and advocates who show how utterly lacking in understanding they are of their own liberal market system... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Podemos, And Spain’s Election Stalemate

By hard grassroots effort, it convincingly rejected the fragmented, individualising forces that had shaped political life for the past few decades – instead, it organized its supporters on the basis of their common, communal experience via collective decision-making aimed at rolling back (a) the austerity-driven cutbacks in public services and (b) the home evictions of those unable to meet their mortgage payments. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Merkel, Refugees And The Cologne Attacks

Huge pressure was already on Angela Merkel’s shoulders prior to the New Year celebrations. When it came in its waves of chaos on the eve, the security services in Cologne were found wanting. The police document from Cologne, leaked to Der Spiegel, speaks of chaos and lack of control. More>>

NZ Media In 2015: ‘Digital First’ Strategies Put Journalists Last

Journalism in New Zealand is threatened by the constant culling of editorial jobs and current affairs programmes… Additionally, journalists investigating issues which are in public interest have become under scrutiny as seen most clearly in the cases of Nicky Hager and Heather Du-Plessis Allen. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news