Whether you support or reject the actions of Ferguson’s police force, the area’s cops sure have had a way of drumming up anger-inspiring headlines throughout the Michael Brown protest debacle. Hedy Epstein — who has been a prominent activist since her family was murdered in Holocaust-era concentration camps — was arrested on Monday for refusing to leave a protest against Governor Jay Nixon’s call for the National Guard to move into Ferguson’s volatile scene, reported The Nation.
Hedy marched with around 125 others to the governor’s offices on Monday before she arrested by Ferguson police. While entering custody, she briefly spoke to The Nation.
I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90. We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.
Epstein is a controversial figure to say the least. While Hedy calls herself a Holocaust survivor, she was actually safe inside of the United Kingdom during the genocide after leaving on a children’s transport during the first years of the war. She counts herself as a survivor because of her lineage, as only two of her family members were still alive after the war. This information was absent from the majority of headlines about her arrest, but conservative newspaper Front Page News published an article denouncing Epstein.
As someone whose father was an actual child survivor of the Holocaust living in Nazi occupied Poland, I would view Hedy Epstein’s fake Holocaust survivor self-promotion as repugnant even if she didn’t dedicate all her time and energy to helping finish what the Nazis started. It’s bad enough that Hedy Epstein is hijacking the identity of Holocaust survivors and now she’s pathologically desperate enough for attention to take her roadshow to Missouri.
“Finishing what the Nazis started” is a reference to Epstein’s pro-Gaza activism in the face of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly inflamed during the past few months. Critics claim that Hedy is a fame seeker, but the majority of reactions following her arrest have been positive. Articles have pointed out that Epstein served as a researcher during the Nuremberg trials that brought many Nazi war criminals to justice, according to International Business Times. Even Arianna Huffington herself, the owner of The Huffington Post, tweeted her support for Hedy.
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) August 19, 2014
Other less prominent Twitter community members were also outraged by Hedy Epstein’s arrest during the Ferguson protests.
If Hedy Epstein can be arrested for protesting, then anyone can be arrested. Believe it. | http://t.co/h4UwWiIaft
— Donna Mugavero (@MsInformation) August 19, 2014
[Original photo via Steven Hsieh’s Twitter]