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Suspensions abound in West Virginia after about 30 employees invoked the Third Reich salute in a graduation picture. The people in the photo work within the state’s Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, and had completed a five-week “basic training class” to be correctional officers. According to CNN, the offensive photograph was “printed, copied, and placed into the graduation packet of each corrections officer."
The “Heil Hitler” salute was a staple of Nazi Germany, used to note Adolf Hitler’s genocidal power before and during World War II, when his murderous Holocaust led to the slaughter of millions of Jews. Officials maintain that the caption, “Hail Byrd,” doesn’t refer to former West Virginia Senator and Ku Klux Klan member Robert Byrd.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice called for the terminations of every person involved in the particularly hateful stunt.