"Kids deserve better": Moms for Liberty chapter blasted for quoting Hitler in newsletter

The group tried to add "context" to the Hitler quote after being called out before deleting it entirely

Published June 23, 2023 12:40PM (EDT)

Members of the "Moms For Liberty" Association attend a campaign event in Vero Beach, Florida, on October 16, 2022. (GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the "Moms For Liberty" Association attend a campaign event in Vero Beach, Florida, on October 16, 2022. (GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Truthout.

An Indiana chapter of the far right hate group Moms for Liberty posted a newsletter on Wednesday featuring a quote from Adolf Hitler on the front page — and is now attacking the news outlet that first reported on the incident.

As IndyStar reported this week, the Hamilton County chapter of Moms for Liberty — a group most recently in the news for being labeled an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — included the quote directly below the masthead of the group's newsletter, "The Parent Brigade."

Alone in a blue box, the quote read "He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future," with attribution to Hitler. The quote, which has been used by right-wingers and Christian groups several times in public in recent years, is attributed to a 1935 speech by Hitler in his mission to indoctrinate German children into Nazism.

The rest of the front page featured information about a "Biblical Citizenship" class and a letter from the chapter chair, Paige Miller, about upcoming events. Directly underneath the Hitler quote was a message from the founders of Moms for Liberty, Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, entitled "Moms for Liberty will not be be [sic] intimidated by hate groups!"

Moms for Liberty is a far right dark money group that has become a leader in the conservative movement to promote the eradication of public schooling, target public school educators and push for bans on education on LGBTQ and racial history in favor of right-wing propaganda. Their messaging is couched in a movement for supposed "parents' rights," which has become code for legislative and far right activist-led attacks on Black people and LGBTQ people.

The chapter scrambled to respond to the backlash generated by their use of the quote, saying they "condemn" Hitler and "should not have quoted him in our newsletter."

The national group walked back that statement slightly on social media, saying that it was fine to quote Hitler, but that they should have also condemned him.

The group also took the opportunity to bash IndyStar for reporting on the situation. "Everyone knows Hitler is bad," Moms for Liberty wrote on Twitter. "This is intentional dishonesty in reporting, but we aren't surprised — all they want is clicks. Do better @indystar." It's unclear what was "dishonest" about the reporting.

After IndyStar first published its story about the quote, Moms for Liberty inserted a blurb with "context" for the quote that seemed to suggest that they agree with the message behind the quote. "If the government has control over our children today, they control our country's future," the group wrote, alongside a blurb advertising activists' pressure campaign to have books removed from the youth section of a local library. "We The People must be vigilant and protect children from an overreaching government."

Later, the group amended the newsletter to omit the quote and "context" entirely.

Moms for Liberty isn't alone in drawing backlash for using this particular Hitler quote. In 2014, a Christian group, Life Savers Ministries, bought a billboard displaying the quote next to a picture of children and another quote from the Bible. And, in 2021, U.S. House Rep. Mary Miller (R-Illinois) used the quote at a Moms for America rally the day before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, saying, "Hitler was right on one thing."

The incident comes amid a rise in antisemitism and neo-Nazism within the American right as Republicans embrace antisemitic and white supremacist conspiracy theories. Public education has become a top target for modern neo-Nazis and fascists to advance their agenda, and experts have likened recent book bans pushed by groups like Moms for Liberty to the Nazi party's book burnings ahead of the Holocaust.

By Sharon Zhang

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