White supremacist James W Von Brunn opens fire at Holocaust museum
Tim Reid in Washington
An 89-year-old white supremacist and Holocaust denier opened fire in Washington’s Holocaust Museum today, wounding at least one before being shot in the head by security officers.
James W von Brunn, who was charged and convicted in 1981 for running towards the boardroom of Washington’s Federal Reserve building with a shotgun, entered the Holocaust Museum just before 1pm and opened fire “indiscriminately” with a long rifle.
A guard was immediately hit, before two other security officers at the heavily guarded museum, less than a mile from the White House, hit von Brunn in the head with return fire. He was taken to George Washington Hospital in a critical condition. Officials said he may not survive. Adrian Fenty, the Mayor of Washington, said the security guard was in a “grave condition”.
The shooting, at one of Washington’s most popular tourist destinations – filled today with schoolchildren - came after a visit last week by President Obama to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp near Dresden, in Germany. It sparked alarm in the heart of the US capital and caused most of the National Mall to be closed down.
Von Brunn, who claims on his own website to have been a decorated PT-boat captain and lieutenant in the US Navy during World War II, has written a book entitled ‘Kill the Best Gentiles!” According to its preface, its purpose it “to present WHITE YOUTH” with factual information to explain that an “age old CONSPIRACY does exist to destroy Western Civilisation.”
Von Brunn also has a Wikipedia user profile in which he champions the virtues of Western culture and the practice of eugenics. In another article he claims that Holocaust history is destroying Western civilization.
He is clearly a Holocaust denier – a belief decried by Mr Obama during his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last week. Von Brunn bemoans that “Jews control all important sources of information”, and claims that there is a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the white gene pool. He also wrote: “America is a Third-World racial garbage-dump – stupid, ignorant, dead broke, and terminal. Whites LOVE their Enemies. Prepare to die, Whitey.” One of heroes he cites is World War II Real Admiral John Crommelin, a notorious anti-Semite who later ran for governor of Alabama.
In 1981, von Brunn entered the Federal Reserve in Washington with a shotgun to make a citizens arrest, he later said, to protest about high interest rates. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail.
On his website, he claims he was convicted by a “Negro jury, Jew /Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal.”
Robert Gibbs, Mr Obama’s White House spokesman, said the president was “saddened” by the attack, had “asked about the condition of the guard, and is obviously concerned for the security guard.”
The Holocaust Museum has had 28 million visitors since it was opened in 1993, including 88 heads of state. It houses exhibits and records relating to the Holocaust more than a half century ago, in which more than six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. It is well guarded by armed security officers and all visitors have to pass through metal detectors as they enter.
Cathy Lanier, Washington’s police chief said there had been no prior warning of the attack. Museum officials said the museum was full at the time of the shooting, with at least 2,000 visitors inside.