The Atlantic

Why They Parade by Torchlight

The white supremacists in Charlottesville invoked the classic imagery of racist terror—from the Nazis to the Ku Klux Klan.
Source: Alejandro Alvarez / News2Share / Reuters

Last Saturday, self-proclaimed white nationalists carried torches through Charlottesville, Virginia, to invoke the racist legacy of Nazi Germany. Fire is more than a dramatic flare. In a charged context, it signals violence and destruction. The Nazi regime began by carrying torches at parades and rallies and, by 1938, burning buildings and Torah scrolls. It eventually burnt the bodies of millions of human beings. The very word Holocaust derives

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