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Moms for Liberty chapter apologizes for quoting Hitler in its newsletter

An Indiana chapter of Moms for Liberty, a nonprofit that advocates for “ parental rights ” in education and was recently labeled as “extremist” by an anti-hate watchdog, is apologizing and condemning Adolf Hitler after using a quote attributed to the Nazi leader in its inaugural newsletter.

The group’s Hamilton County chapter on Thursday posted a revised version of its newly launched newsletter, “The Parent Brigade,” on Facebook after it had previously shared a version that featured the Hitler quote on its front cover.

“We condemn Adolf Hitler’s actions and his dark place in human history,” read a statement from chapter chair Paige Miller on the cover of the revised newsletter. “We should not have quoted him in our newsletter and express our deepest apology.”

The first version of the newsletter included the quote, “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future,” and cited Hitler. While the origin of the quote is not entirely clear, it has been attributed in numerous historical texts to a 1935 rally speech by the Nazi leader.

Late Wednesday, after The Indianapolis Star reported on the quote, the local Moms for Liberty chapter updated the newsletter to add a “context” section.

“The quote from a horrific leader should put parents on alert,” the updated version read. “If the government has control over our children today, they control our country’s future. We The People must be vigilant and protect children from an overreaching government.”

By Thursday morning, the chapter had removed those versions and posted its new copy of the newsletter, replacing the Hitler quote with the chair’s apology.

The quote has frequently been used by conservative Christian groups as a warning of “what they experience as liberal or left-wing attempts to indoctrinate children,” said Mark Pitcavage, senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.

In 2014, for example, a church group in Alabama removed a billboard after using the quote next to images of children. And last year, a Colorado school board member faced calls to resign after posting the quote on Facebook.

“They use it as a way to get people’s attention,” Pitcavage said. “Regardless, you should never use Adolf Hitler quotes to get your point across.”

Some who encountered the newsletter interpreted Moms for Liberty’s use of the quote as a tacit endorsement for Hitler and his beliefs. Moms for Liberty has faced criticism for its activism against school inclusion, including trying to remove books related to race and gender identity from school libraries.

“It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that the largest anti-student inclusion movement organization has allegedly used a quote from one of the appalling figureheads in history,” said Rachel Carroll Rivas, deputy director of research, reporting and analysis for the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center labeled Moms for Liberty as an “anti-government extremist” group in its 2022 annual report.

Moms for Liberty has come under increasing national scrutiny as it has become a power player in Republican politics. Five presidential candidates plan to speak —- and several grassroots groups plan to protest —- at the group’s annual summit in Philadelphia next week.

The national Moms for Liberty chapter took to Twitter to call the Star’s reporting “intentional dishonesty,” even while issuing a statement that condemned the chapter’s decision to quote Hitler.

“They should not have quoted Hitler. Period,” read the statement from co-founders Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice. “Parents are passionate about protecting future generations from tyranny, but Hitler did not need to be quoted to make that point.”

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Associated Press researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press receives support from several private foundations to enhance its explanatory coverage of elections and democracy. See more about AP’s democracy initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Ali Swenson, The Associated Press


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