In the picture, taken in Afghanistan, American Marines are shown with a flag that reads “SS” in a manner similar to the logo of the infamous Nazi police. A Marine spokesperson said the soldiers did not know the logo had a Nazi connotation but had intended the image to resemble lightning bolts and refer to sniper scouts.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he did not believe the image was an innocent mistake and called on authorities to launch an investigation, CBS News reported.
The Anti-Defamation League, however, issued a statement Friday saying that “obviously” the military personnel had “no idea” what the image symbolized and called on U.S. military leaders to reinstate a Holocaust education program the league had helped develop 30 years ago.
“As the years pass, the memory of the ultimate sacrifices of American servicemen in World War II is being forgotten, and the symbols of the Nazis are losing their meaning to young people who have no memory and little knowledge of that time in history,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director.