Former Nazi Ted Junker cited for gathering

(Published October. 12, 2006, 8:38 a.m.)

By Mike Heine/The Week

Walworth County officials have fined a former Nazi Waffen SS soldier $2,000 for allowing about 25 people to gather at his memorial to Adolf Hitler, violating county zoning laws.

But Theodor Junker can get his money back if he avoids any such gatherings for the next year, according to a court agreement filed Monday.

Junker, 87, previously signed a restraining order saying his property was closed to large gatherings. The property is not zoned for public events, but he can invite people to see his creation.

On Aug. 25, the night before the National Socialist Movement rally in Madison, sheriff's deputies spotted five carloads of people pull into Junker's property. While Junker did not give permission to the people to visit his memorial, he did not tell them to leave, either, according to the agreement.

Junker's property and Hitler memorial are located behind a cornfield about a half-mile down a single-lane gravel driveway. He does not have adequate parking or sanitation facilities to host large events, Assistant Corporation Counsel Michael Cotter said.

Cotter said the county did not close Junker's property to the public based on its theme or message.

National Socialist Movement Commander Jeff Schoep was one of the attendees at Junker's memorial on Aug. 25. On a white supremacist Web site forum, Schoep said the cars stopped by to say hello to a friend who invited them over. They left within an hour.

However, Junker says that's not what happened.

"A guy called me and said he wants to show (the memorial) to two or three people from Iowa," Junker said Monday. "All of a sudden, they came with 20 people."

There was no official meeting, and Junker did not want to drive the visitors away, he said. Instead, he showed the visitors his memorial, then they talked awhile and left, Junker said.

Junker plans to work with the county and Sugar Creek Township to obtain the proper zoning permits to open the memorial. But for now, he's just glad the issue is behind him.

"My neighbors, they don't like the idea that I have (the memorial) here," Junker said. "I don't want to disturb the neighbors. I'd like to have it quiet at least for a year."

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