Nazism is Alive and Well

Where is the outrage? Excerpts from the AFP article:

Austria (AFP) — Hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathisers honoured Waffen SS veterans at the 50th edition of the controversial Ulrichsberg gathering in southern Austria Sunday...about 500 people paid homage to the Third Reich soldiers' "sense of sacrifice."

Among the supporters were representatives from veterans' groups and from the Austrian army, as well as younger neo-Nazis and retired soldiers carrying the banners of the Flemish SS volunteers.

Skinheads from several European countries applauded the proceedings, while women served out schnapps.

Haider triggered international outrage at the event in 1995 when he paid tribute to the Waffen SS, describing it as a group "of honest citizens who knew how to stay true to their convictions."

Valentin Sima, a historian at Klagenfurt University, told AFP that since then, the event's organisers had asked that the more provocative elements of the gathering -- such as the Kameradschaft IV (Comradeship 4) -- a veterans organisation of former Waffen SS members, "be toned down."

Those who received the Ritterkreuz (Knights cross) -- the second highest military order of the Third Reich -- are also honoured.

Harry Cooper, head of the American Neo-Nazi Sharkhunters organisation, who sent a delegation of 20 members, said the event was unique of its kind because one could still pay tribute to soldiers who has been "honourably defeated."

Wolfgang Zinggl, an Austrian Green deputy who acted as an observer at the gathering, told AFP that his party had lodged a complaint over the commemorative plaques and the fact that the army had attended the event.

"It is also inexcusable that during this ceremony, there was not one word about the victims of Nazism, or the crimes of the Wehrmacht (army)," he added.

The owner of the site, Peter von Goess, whose father Leopold fought in the SS, said the complaint was "without purpose."

"Everything is perfectly legal." he told AFP.



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