The US Army was working to dismiss an artillery officer with a large social media following for a joke he made about the Holocaust in a TikTok video.
An Army general determined Second Lt. Nathan Freihofer’s remarks were “inconsistent with the values of Army service and inappropriate for anyone in a position of leadership over American Soldiers,” a spokesman told the Washington Post on Monday.
“As a result, last month the Corps commander initiated the process of removing Freihofer from the Army,” the Army spokesman said.
Freihofer, who didn’t comment on the move, has two weeks to submit an argument defending himself before he is stripped of uniform.
The Army’s decision to seek Freihofer’s removal was praised by the American Jewish Committee.
“There is no room for prejudice among those sworn to protect American citizens,” the AJC wrote on its Twitter account.
We thank the @USArmy for taking a strong stance against antisemitism by preparing to remove Lt. Nathan Freihofer from the army for his disturbing “joke” about the Holocaust.
There is no room for prejudice among those sworn to protect American citizens.https://t.co/oPp5EO3QbP
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) January 12, 2021
In the TikTok video from August, Freihofer made light of Nazi Germany’s incineration of Jews murdered in the Holocaust, saying a Jewish person’s favorite Pokemon character was “Ash,” the protagonist of the animated series.
The video has since been taken down from Freihofer’s TikTok account, which has 3.8 million followers, and the Army removed him from his leadership post with the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he was based.