Lawmaker shares photo comparing media and medical officials to Nazi war criminals

Republican Ron Gillham represents the Kenai-Soldotna area in the Alaska State House of Representatives.

A warning by Facebook content moderators denoting sensitive content is superimposed on a post shared by Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna. Gillham shared a post comparing media and medical professionals to Nazi-era war criminals on his Facebook page on June 21, 2021. (Screenshot)

A warning by Facebook content moderators denoting sensitive content is superimposed on a post shared by Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna. Gillham shared a post comparing media and medical professionals to Nazi-era war criminals on his Facebook page on June 21, 2021. (Screenshot)

An Alaska state lawmaker shared a sensitive image on his Facebook last week, likening members of the media and medical professionals who provide information about COVID-19 vaccines to Nazis executed for war crimes.

Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai/Soldotna, shared a factually inaccurate photo of a public hanging with a caption that alleged the executions were of members of the media and medical community who misled the public during Nazi Germany. Above the photo read: “Still so sure you want to try to force me to get the experimental vaccination?”

In an interview with the Clarion on Monday evening, Gillham said he meant “nothing” by his June 21 Facebook post.

“I just shared it,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that comes around and you just send it around.”

The caption below the photo states the hangings were in Nuremberg, Germany.

“Members of the Media who lied and misled the German People were executed, right along with Medical Doctors and Nurses who participated in medical experiments using living people as guinea pigs. Those who forget the past are condemned to relive it,” the caption stated.

According to an article published in the Project MUSE journal — a publication of full-text accounts from the world’s leading universities and scholarly societies — the photo referenced in Gillham’s post actually depicted the execution of Germans convicted of war crimes in post-Holocaust Kiev, Ukraine, in 1946, courtesy of the Ukrainian Central State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The social media post has also been deemed “misleading” by the Agence France-Presse fact-checking news outlet, which states that the photo was taken in Kiev — not Nuremberg — and only one member of the media was executed, a journalist who founded and spearheaded the antisemitic newspaper Der Steurmer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the federal government does not require individuals to get the COVID vaccine. The shots are also approved for emergency use, and are not considered experimental.

Gillham’s post had garnered nine reactions on Facebook and five shares as of Monday evening. One individual commented that “history should repeat itself.”

Gillham said he didn’t see the person’s comment in an interview with the Clarion.

“I did not see it and I don’t know who it was,” he said.

When asked if he thought sharing the post could be harmful to media and medical professionals, Gillham said he had no further comment.

“I just cannot make a statement at the moment,” he said.

The post was still viewable on Gillham’s page as of 10 p.m. Monday.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Ryan Tunks works at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn OՈara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘The first, first responders’

Dispatchers hope service isn’t lost in political dispute

FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters at a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases, a day after the state’s largest hospital announced it had entered crisis protocol and began rationing care. When many people become ill at the same time, it overwhelms the state’s health care system. "And then we start to see excess mortality where more people dying from other things such as heart attacks and strokes and car accidents and bear maulings or whatever else happens," Zink said. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Zink: Health care workers face increasing hostility

Health care professionals with the state have borne the brunt of scrutiny… Continue reading

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination drive-thru clinic at Evraz Place in Regina on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Saskatchewan’s only children’s hospital is opening its pediatric intensive care unit to younger adults who have COVID-19 as the province runs out of critical care beds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor
Weekly vaccine lottery winners announced

The Alaska Chamber of Commerce announced the second week’s lottery winners Thursday,… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 7 recent COVID-19 deaths

The state Department of Health and Social Services reported another seven recent… Continue reading

Skilak Lake can be seen from Hideout Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on July 5, 2020, in Alaska. (Photograph by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Refuge cancels ‘Fall Fun Day’ due to state of COVID

Peninsula Clarion The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge canceled its weekend “Fall Fun… Continue reading

Ahlberg to take over as OEM manager

Brenda Ahlberg is the new emergency manager for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.… Continue reading

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski North Star goes to universal masks

Universal indoor masking for staff and students was instituted at Nikiski North… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another COVID death, more than 1,200 new cases reported statewide

Statewide, there were 213 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Wednesday.

Candidates for Soldotna City Council attend a forum at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna council candidates discuss city development, COVID response at forum

Jordan Chilson, Erick Hugarte, Dan Nelson and Micah Shields participated in the event.

Most Read