The woman who was photographed giving the Nazi salute in Chicago outside a rally for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE claims to have made the gesture to prove a point to a protester.
In an interview with The New York Times, Birgitt Peterson, who was born in West Berlin in 1946, said she took offense to a protester who was holding a poster with a picture of Adolf Hitler on it.
“They said Trump is a second Hitler,” Peterson said. “I said, 'Do you know what that sign stands for? Do you know who Hitler really was?'”
“I make the point that they are demonstrating something they had no knowledge about,” she said. “If you want to do it right, you do it right. You don’t know what you are doing.”
Peterson claims to have saluted in counterprotest.
“Absolutely I’m not a Nazi, no,” she told The New York Times. “I’m not one of those.”
Peterson’s husband, Don, called it “insulting” that the couple has been accused of having anything to do with Nazis.
“We have never done anything other than demonstrate to a bunch of idiots that when they talk about Nazism, they better learn about it first,” he said.
Peterson's story differs from what the protester captured in the viral photo recalled about the encounter. Michael Joseph Garza, who identified himself as the person standing next to Peterson, claimed he was trying to show her a way out of the crowd when she said, "Go? Back in my day, you know what we did."