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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

After 61 years, still fighting Hitler's War

Ted Junker is an affable man.

He’s a kidder, with a twinkle in his eye, like many a retired guy around Walworth County.

But Ted Junker is not like most retired guys around Walworth County.

As Donna Lenz Wright reports in this week’s cover story, Junker thinks the world has gotten Hitler all wrong. And he’s built a memorial in the grassy hills behind his home near Millard in Hitler’s honor.

We found out about Mr. Junker the way we do many of our stories. Junker has been making the rounds of civic groups in Whitewater talking about his project. One of our readers called to tell us about him and to say he’d make an interesting story.

From the outset, I wondered why a man who describes himself as a former German SS officer would even want to draw attention to himself.

His beliefs will obviously offend many, especially those families who fought or had loved ones die in World War II.
There are plenty of people with unpopular and offensive opinions in the world, but in this country, you have the right to believe what you want to believe. Just because a person holds contrary opinions doesn’t mean they’re worth writing a story about.

But Ted Junker doesn’t just have his opinions. He wants to convince us that what we’ve known about World War II is all wrong. And he’s holding a public event at the memorial to publicize his cause.

I don’t think this is the type of story Fox had in mind when the came up with their “fair and balanced’ slogan. It’s like giving equal weight to the Flat Earth Society of those who deny we’ve been to the moon.

But in this case, we’ve decided to publish this story because Junker wants to make his beliefs public.

In some ways, Junker’s spin on history isn’t that far off. It is true that Hitler pulled Germany out of the social turmoil that gripped the country between the wars. And yes, Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf” did provide direction for the country.

But how Hitler accomplished all this is what lead to war and the holocaust.

In other instances, Junker simply disputes the historical record. His assertion that the deaths in the concentration camps were fabricated is impossible to believe.

As we were looking into it, we found there is a whole Holocaust denial movement. Lenz-Wright contacted several Jewish studies and history organizations for comment on the notion of dismissing the worst atrocities of World War II. In each case however, she found them hesitant for fear of being drawn into an endless debate.

In any case, Junker does have one thing right. In this country you can say and believe what you will.

Whether or not he’ll be able to convince anyone else is something you can judge for yourself.

~Dan Plutchak, editor

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are thousands and thousands of people like him out there spreading absurd lies. This is not news. It's propaganda. You are just giving credence to him.

Asking whether anybody will believe him is a disingenuous question. You already know that there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of neo nazi groups out there with the identical message.

It's not the story of a man whose opinions differ from the mainstream. His statements are blatant lies. There are plenty of photos and films of the dead, of mass graves, of piles of bodies, and mounds of skeletons. There are cities where the entire population disappeared. Poland alone had about three million Jews before the war, and now has a few thousand. We know where their homes were, where their stores were, and we know that they are gone. You can't hide that many people. We have seen the evidence.

Instead of running an article on the harm that these people do, you run a piece on how there are other opinions out there and we need to judge for ourselves? Are you one of the nazis, or are you simply clueless about journalistic integrity? This is not about opinion. It's about spreading lies and hate. It's not about a person who is newsworthy. It's about giving glory to a person who is just one of thousands of twisted liars who are out there.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lie of the Holocaust has been exposed. Contrary to what shrills like the previous blogger stated there are NO PHOTO's of any MASS EXTERMINATION, GAS CHAMBERS. THe piles of bodies were PROPAGANDA used by the ALLIES like good ol Uncle Joe of dead GERMANS.

The 6 million exaggeration is a complete falsified debunked myth. The Holocaust is an extortion racket, nothing else.

Notice cowards like this fool have learned all she knows about World War Two from Jewish Hollywood. She even goes so far as to call the editor a NAZI. When haters like this use smears and names you KNOW they have NO argument nor facts to back up their nonsense.

I applaud Mr. Plutchak.

7:41 PM  
Blogger anonymous said...

I love how this site doesn't accept anonymous comments and yet both comments are from...anonymous! Too funny!

As for the article...Who? What? Where? That's how much attention it deserves.

10:33 PM  
Blogger truthinator said...

It's wrong to dignify this kind of disrespectful drivel as newsworthy. It tends to bring out similar-thinking miscreants like maggots; and it makes a travesty of the suffering of those whose lives have been devastated by the nazi atrocities.

Please, don't ever make this kind of mistake again.

Truthinator

6:25 PM  

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