Neo-Nazis protest exterior Broadway revival of ‘Parade’


In a scene that mirrored historical past, spectators ready to look at a Broadway musical about probably the most notorious antisemitic incidents in U.S. historical past had been heckled exterior the theater — by neo-Nazi protesters.

The present, “Parade,” is a dramatization of the story of Leo Frank, a Jewish pencil manufacturing unit director in Atlanta who was convicted of the homicide of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in 1913. He was kidnapped from jail and lynched by an indignant mob two years later, and the case stays a lightning rod for the far-right.

Protesters confirmed up exterior the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Tuesday as spectators waited to see a preview of the Tony Award-winning musical.

“You need the reality about who you’re going to see tonight? You’re paying $300 to go worship a pedophile,” one masked protester could be heard saying, utilizing an expletive, in a clip shared by Jake Wasserman, an editor for the Jewish American publication, the Ahead.

In the identical footage, protesters will be seen holding a banner with a hyperlink to the web site of the National Socialist Movement, which the Anti-Defamation League describes as “the biggest neo-Nazi group in the USA.”

One Twitter person shared a photograph of the fliers handed out by the protesters, which included an internet deal with for a video platform operated by a gaggle that the ADL describes as “a free community of people linked by their virulent antisemitism” and Nazi SS logos.

Leo Frank was lynched for a murder he didn’t commit. Now neo-Nazis are trying to rewrite history.

Ben Platt, who performs Frank, said in an Instagram video that he heard concerning the protest after the present. “It was undoubtedly very ugly and scary, however a beautiful reminder of why we’re telling this explicit story and the way particular and highly effective artwork and significantly theater will be,” he mentioned. “And it made me really feel further, further grateful to be the one which will get to inform this explicit story and to hold on the legacy of Leo.”

“Are you actually doing the actual work of an artist in the event you aren’t be protested by Neo Nazi’s?” wrote Prentiss Mouton, one other performer within the play, sharing footage of the protesters exterior the theater in an Instagram story. “If I wasn’t proud sufficient to be part of this manufacturing it was solidified at the moment.”

Frank’s case was vital as a result of in depth antisemitic tropes utilized in protests and even a few of the media reporting on the time. The Washington Post reported in 1983 that jurors in his homicide trial heard shouts of “Hold the Jew” exterior the courthouse, and members of the Jewish group, fearing for his or her security, left Atlanta after Frank’s lynching.

The killing was meticulously deliberate, The Post reported in 2017 — from the slicing of the jail cellphone strains to the draining of the fuel from police autos to assist the attackers escape. However no convictions had been ever made for Frank’s killing.

There have been appeals in opposition to Frank’s sentence over time, with a former workplace boy from the pencil manufacturing unit coming forward within the Eighties to say that he noticed the important thing witness within the trial — a Black janitor, named Jim Conley — carrying the sufferer’s lifeless physique. The witness, by then in his 80s, said Conley threatened him and his dad and mom informed him to not communicate out. It didn’t overturn Frank’s sentence, however Conley was later convicted as an adjunct within the case and would go on to serve sentences for violence in opposition to ladies.

Later, in 1986, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles posthumously pardoned Frank, however solely on the idea of its failure to make sure his security whereas in custody, and never on his innocence.

Survey finds ‘classical fascist’ antisemitic views widespread in U.S.

Frank’s story stays vital for different causes: The ADL was established in the identical 12 months as his conviction, with the goal of stopping “the defamation of the Jewish individuals and to safe justice and honest remedy to all.” And only a month after Frank’s killing in 1915, a gaggle of males — together with a few of those that took half within the lynching — revived the Ku Klux Klan.

“The trial and lynching of Leo Frank was probably the most virulent anti-Semitic episodes in American historical past,” ADL Nationwide Director Abraham H. Foxman mentioned in 2013 on the a centesimal anniversary of Frank’s conviction. That very same 12 months, the Southern Poverty Legislation Middle noted that neo-Nazi teams had been creating propaganda web sites concerning the case

Curiosity in Frank’s case continues, and so, too, does the antisemitism that coloured his trial and killing. In January, an ADL survey discovered that 85 p.c of Individuals imagine no less than one anti-Jewish trope — a big enhance from the determine of 61 p.c in 2019.

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