I Was the Target of a Neo-Nazi ‘Troll Storm’

In Anti Semitism On

Tanya Gersh was targeted by the ‘alt-right’ for being Jewish after getting caught up in the notoriety surrounding Richard Spencer. She tells Lois Beckett about the trauma of her experience and the antisemitism leveled at her.

I had never, ever encountered antisemitism until Andrew Anglin launched his troll storm. Since December, I’ve received more than 700 threatening, hateful, harassing, antisemitic communications from Anglin’s followers at all hours of the day and night, and it hasn’t stopped.

I’ve been told: “You really should have died in the Holocaust with the rest of your people.”

Sometimes, when I answered the phone, all I heard were gunshots.

I’ve received emails, texts and voicemails threatening my life. I was told I would be driven to the brink of suicide. There were endless references to being thrown in the oven, being gassed. There were even suggestions: “Call her up, get her to take you on a real estate tour and get her alone.”

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How Richard Spencer’s home town weathered a neo-Nazi ‘troll storm’

n a bitterly cold afternoon, the residents of a Montana ski town waited to see if armed neo-Nazis would show up to march through their streets.

Whitefish, a tiny town of 7,000 people, is an enclave of Clinton supporters in a largely conservative state. But on the mountain above town, near the ski resort, there is a picturesque mansion where America’s most famous white supremacist sometimes lives.

Richard Spencer, 38, is a well-groomed, well-educated advocate for the creation of a “white ethno-state” in North America. In November, he had been captured on camera shouting “Hail Trump! Hail victory!” while others gave the Nazi salute.

After he was punched in the face at Trump’s inauguration, Spencer would become an internet meme and debate: Punch the Nazi! Is it right to punch the Nazi?

Residents of Whitefish, where Spencer had lived part-time, had tried to take a more peaceful approach to confronting the extremist in their midst: they had issued a town proclamation denouncing Spencer and his racist beliefs. What Whitefish got in response was a hailstorm of antisemitic harassment and threats from Spencer’s neo-Nazi allies that generated headlines across the world.

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