Robert Keith Packer Wiki – Robert Keith Packer Biography
Robert Keith Packer was wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt in photos during the siege of the US Capitol, of Newport News, Virginia, according to CNN.
An image of Packer inside the Capitol, whose sweatshirt bore the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II, has evoked shock and disbelief on social media. The bottom of his shirt stated, “Work brings freedom,” which is the rough translation of the phrase “Arbeit macht frei” that was on the concentration camp’s gates.
A rioter who stormed the US Capitol Wednesday wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “Camp Auschwitz” has been identified as Robert Keith Packer of Virginia. https://t.co/Z7YK4gMll6
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 10, 2021
Three sources spoke to CNN when they identified Packer as the man in the “Camp Auschwitz” hooded sweatshirt at the US Capitol building. They declined to be identified, citing the sensitivity of the matter.
One Virginia resident told CNN Packer had a history of extremism.
“He’s been always extreme and very vocal about his beliefs,” the person said.
Another person who said they knew Packer described him as “off-beat.” That person said Packer has talked about frustrations with the government, but did not recall any conversations about President Donald Trump or allegations of voter fraud.
Packer previously worked as a welder and a pipe-fitter, another source told the news outlet.
One person wrote on Twitter about his reaction to seeing the shirt.
Almost physically sick at the sight of this guy in a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt. Today he is walking free, after entering the Capitol to overturn a democratic vote, being allowed to leave without sanction or arrest, and being told “We love you” by the President… pic.twitter.com/A3bR4rTSGE
— Dave Haslam (@Mr_Dave_Haslam) January 7, 2021
“Almost physically sick at the sight of this guy in a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt,” he wrote. “Today he is walking free, after entering the Capitol to overturn a democratic vote, being allowed to leave without sanction or arrest, and being told ‘We love you’ by the President…”
Robert Keith Packer Age
Robert Keith Packer is 56-years-old.
One Company Removed “Camp Auschwitz” Merchandise
“We love you, you’re very special. Particularly the ones with the cable ties for hostages and the ‘Camp Auschwitz’ and ‘6 Million Wasn’t Enough’ T-shirts and the racist flag”#terroristsnotprotestors pic.twitter.com/9B5uUqSxcI
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) January 7, 2021
Companies which distributed custom merchandise, like T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and other products, were distributing products with the “Camp Auschwitz” message. At least one company, TeeChip, responded to complaints and removed the products, saying they were removed from the site and “taken down for content reasons” January 7, 2021, according to Newsweek. The company provides a platform that allows designers to sell custom merchandise online, according to its website. It was not clear whether Packer purchased the shirt from TeeChip or another company which also sold the shirts.
Medical historian and television presenter Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris bashed TeeChip on Twitter for selling the merchandise. They later informed her that the products were removed.
— Lindsey Fitzharris (@DrLindseyFitz) January 7, 2021
“Hi Lindsey, @AuschwitzMuseum, this content has been taken down, as we do not tolerate hatred messages on our website. The seller has been banned. We’ll continue moderating to prevent similar content to be uploaded,” they wrote.
“RESULT!!!” Fitzharris wrote on Twitter, sharing TeeChip’s message to her. “Thanks to everyone who sent complaints about ‘Camp Auschwitz’ merchandize on TeeChip. Now, to root out other outlets that sell similar products.”
Better look at the guy with the ‘Camp Auschwitz’ hoodie from yesterday. Not only does it feature the SS ‘totenkopf’, but an English translation of ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’. No wiggle room, no joking here. This is who these people are. (via @MrTAchilles) pic.twitter.com/i6zjuIAQbx
— Mike Stuchbery 💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) January 7, 2021
CNN reported Packer has a criminal history in Virginia, which included three convictions for driving under the influence and one felony conviction for forging public records. He was charged with trespass in 2016, but that case was dismissed. One of the sources who spoke to CNN said he had previous run-ins with the law.
Social media users were quick to ridicule Packer online.
“Better look at the guy with the ‘Camp Auschwitz’ hoodie from yesterday,” one person wrote. “Not only does it feature the SS ‘totenkopf’, but an English translation of ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’. No wiggle room, no joking here. This is who these people are.”
Another person shared a story about her grandmother on Twitter. She said she would watch Holocaust documentaries, hoping to find a family member.
“When I was a little girl, I asked my Grandma – Why do you watch all the Holocaust documentaries again and again, every year? ‘Maybe I’ll see someone from my family’, she said. ‘They all died in Camp Auschwitz.’ Thinking of you Safta,” the tweet said.
Historian Lindsey Fitzharris shared the photo of the man identified as Packer on Twitter in the hours after the siege on the Capitol. She suggested that Twitter users follow the Auschwitz Museum website and learn about the travesties that occurred there.
“Someone not only wore this sweatshirt, but some company made it. We historians have a lot of work to do, it seems,” she wrote. “Let’s start with this: follow @AuschwitzMuseum. Read their stories about those who died in the Holocaust. Learn about the past. Learn *from* the past.”
Someone not only wore this sweatshirt, but some company made it. We historians have a lot of work to do, it seems.
— Lindsey Fitzharris (@DrLindseyFitz) January 7, 2021
She added, “Undoubtedly, this man knew what his sweatshirt was implying. But I want everyone who might casually glimpse it – and not recognize it for what it is – to understand the history.”
One person shared a personal story on Twitter, along with a family photo.
“Thank you Lindsey,” he wrote. “I lost many members of my family in ‘that place’. I’d like to meet this man and tell him the story of my dad’s cousin Anselm – the youngest to be murdered there, aged just 6. He died holding his daddy’s hand in a Zyklon B shower. This was them in happier times.”
Invoked Anti-Semitism at the Capitol Siege
BREAKING: Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down 4 layers of security fencing and are attempting to occupy the building — fighting federal police who are overrun
This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thousands, police can’t stop them pic.twitter.com/VVdTUwV5YN
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) January 6, 2021
The “Camp Auschwitz” shirt was not the only Neo-Nazi symbol on display at the siege of the Capitol. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency analyzed the symbols worn by protesters, which included hate-filled messages to many groups of people.
The news outlet reported:
Prominent Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis were part of the Capitol mob. A far-right activist known as Baked Alaska livestreamed from inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Another extremist, Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist who leads the far-right Groyper Army, was said to be in the room with him. Fuentes denies this but was outside the Capitol on Wednesday.
The Neo-Nazi group NSC-131 also joined the insurrection, according to reporter Hilary Sargent. NSC stands for Nationalist Social Club and has small regional chapters in the United States and abroad. The 131 division is from New England.
Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, told The Times of Israel he could identify members of the New Jersey European Heritage Association, a white supremacist group, and the Nationalist Social Club, a neo-Nazi group, in images of Trump rallies in Washington DC January 5 and 6.
Some said a swastika can be seen on a flag in a video posted online, but it is not clear what image is on the flag because it cannot be fully seen on the video.