WABASHA, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan say an offensive image posted by the Republican Party of Wabasha County’s Facebook page was not the result of hacking as previously thought, but put up by a board member.

Carnahan says the board member has since resigned effective immediately at the party’s request.

The image, which compared Minnesota’s mask mandate to Jewish people wearing a star that was worn in concentration camps, was taken down by late Monday. It received a number of negative comments and drew responses from the Jewish Community Relations Council.

“It’s a disgrace to the memory of WWII veterans as well as survivors of the Holocaust and anybody that fought,” said Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council. “Typhus, disease, starvation and the like as a prelude to extermination. And compare it to an order whose goal is to preserve public health to the highest degree possible. It’s awful to make such comparisons.”

Wabasha County Republican BPOU Chairwoman Beverly Snow said on Monday that no one from the party posted the image that showed a Nazi officer telling a prisoner of war to wear the Star of David during the Holocaust and comparing that to the COVID-19 mask requirement imposed by Gov. Tim Walz.

On Tuesday, Carnahan released the following statement with an update regarding the incident:

“Upon further investigation today, the Republican Party of Minnesota has learned the Wabasha County Facebook page was not hacked last night, as believed by the Wabasha County Chair.  The offensive picture was unfortunately posted by a board member who has resigned effective immediately at the party’s request.  We are saddened by the vitriolic post and hope as we move forward that Republicans and Democrats alike will maintain the highest level of integrity, respect, and sensitivity.  The Wabasha County Board and MN GOP apologizes for this disappointing post.”  

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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