A photo of a 69-year-old Yorkville woman, adorned in Trump gear and demonstrating a Nazi salute following the rally for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump that was canceled Friday night amid demonstrations and skirmishes.
On Saturday, the woman and her husband said the photo paints a false picture, that she was only responding in kind to anti-Trump protesters.
The image, published by the Chicago Tribune, showed Birgitt Peterson with her right arm rigid and outstretched above her head, like the Nazi salute.
Peterson, who grew up in West Berlin, she was responding to protesters who’d given her the Nazi salute, some of them also carrying signs likening Trump to Adolf Hitler.
“Nobody compares anyone else to Adolf Hitler,” Peterson said. “I said if you want to do it, and you are not educated enough, let me show you how to do it.”
The Petersons said they’ve been inundated with calls after the photo was published by pranksters and gotten vulgar insults — and the occasional supporter from the left.
Donald Peterson, Birgitt’s husband, said they got one call from a man in Indiana who applauded his wife for casting Trump supporters in a negative light, as if she were a plant from an opposing campaign trying to make Trump look bad.
“As far as us being rabble-rousers or us being down there causing trouble, absolutely not,” Donald Peterson said.
“I am a Cruz supporter,” he said. “But I went down there because I want to know more about Donald Trump because I think he will probably be our candidate.”