25-year-old Erin Schrode is a rising star in the Democrat Party. She is hoping to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and the youngest person in the House of Representatives.
But her ambitions have also attracted the attention of neo-Nazi online trolls, who have targeted her in a vile campaign of hate, prompting the young Jewish-American to speak out.
Taking to Facebook, Schrode expressed her shock at the appalling deluge of anti-Semitic comments – many of them emanating from self-declared supporters of the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
"Indiscriminate hatred. Pure evil," is how she described the hateful messages, which included death threats, calls to rape her and Holocaust references.
"I woke up yesterday and today to hundreds of such vile messages. I was told to keep my mouth shut, that this wasn’t the time or place to speak out against anti-Semitism, that such messaging wouldn’t serve me well as a candidate three days away from the California congressional primary," she continued. "I recognize the tragic reality that people are being killed, injured, and persecuted in horrific ways – and that an onslaught of threatening, derogatory, hate-filled emails, voicemails, tweets, and comments pales is comparison."
However, Schrode said she could not bear to stay silent because, in her words, "this is not about me.
"Sure, the hatred has now turned personal, targeting me because of the simple fact that my mother is Jewish, that I am Jewish. And yes, my personal email, cell phone, and social media handles were published in Neo-Nazi chatrooms alongside photos of me wearing the yellow JUDE star, a badge forced upon Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, among other nauseating permutations of images.
"This unspeakable vitriol goes far beyond anti-Semitism. It is not merely an attack on me or on one people, but rather an attack on any individual or group who is targeted because of faith, race, nationality, gender, ability, orientation or other arbitrary classification."
The anti-Semitic campaign appears to have begun when Schrode's personal details were posted to the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site, whose administrator Andrew Anglin is an ardent Trump supporter.
The GOP candidate's campaign has been in the spotlight over recent months, as a vocal minority of his supporters have engaged in vicious anti-Semitic trolling. Trump has also been forced to disavow public endorsements from leading American White Supremacists and neo-Nazis, most notoriously former KKK leader David Duke.
Among the abuse Shrode said she received were messages such as "Fire up the oven!"; "Everyone knows it's TIME for America's first evil retarded teen c*** Congress kike!" (expletive censored); "All would laugh with glee as they gang raped her and then bashed her bagel eating brains in.", and other racist and anti-Semitic vitriol.
Schrode told Buzzfeed News that she has contacted authorities, including the FBI.
She said other threatening messages included Nazis calling on her to leave America for Israel, such as voicemail message which said: "Get out of my country, kike. Get to Israel where you belong. That or the oven. Take your pick."
But she said the hatred hasn't dented her ambitions in any way.
"We must not stand silent in the face of hatred, violence, attacks, bullying, or oppression," she said on Facebook. "We cannot recoil in fear; we cannot lose our sense of human dignity and respect. May we respond with a chorus of positive voices and powerful action. May we rise up and not only preach tolerance, but understanding and love."