The hatred had long been organized.
It is becoming increasingly clear: the storming of the US Capitol was not a spontaneous act of violence by disappointed Trump supporters. The historical roots of this terror go back a long way.
Jacob Eder is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin. Among all other things, he researches in the areas of a remembrance culture, transatlantic relations, the history of anti-Semitism, the history of humanitarianism and the history of migration. Eder analyzes the historical roots of the movement that stormed the US Capitol in Washington on January 6th – and the danger remains.
For Joe Biden’s Attorney-General-designate Merrick Garland, solving the US Capitol events on January 6th is a top priority, as became evident in his Senate hearing. On Tuesday, the Senate also explicitly put the issue on the agenda for the first time. In a hearing lasting several hours, the senators mainly focused on how the mob managed to overcome the security forces and break into the building. The hearing made it clear that there had been massive failures and mishaps before the attack. At the same time, however, it confirmed the impression that Washington’s events were not a spontaneous outbreak of violence by disappointed and crazy Trump supporters. Still, it a deliberately prepared and organized terrorist attack.
It is now known that dozens of those who searched the congressional bureau for records intended to wreak havoc attempted to hunt down MPs and even demanded the execution of then-Vice-President Mike Pence when white supremacists and potential domestic terrorists were under FBI scrutiny had. Some had prepared battle plans in advance, analyzed the Capitol buildings’ plans, had prepared, armed and had appeared in Washington. The authorities have already brought charges against around 250 people, and almost twice as many are under investigation.