BERLIN — Austrian media reported on Friday that a town in the west of the country is planning to remove a memorial to three soldiers who were members of the Waffen SS during World War II.
Public broadcaster ORF reported that the mayor of Imst, Stefan Weirather, confirmed that the municipal workers will dismantle the site.
The memorial was built in the 1970s for three men who were portrayed as having been executed by American troops on May 19, 1945 — more than a week after Nazi Germany had capitulated to the Allies.
Residents concerned about the frequent visits by far-right supporters later researched the men’s military records and found they had in fact been members of the feared Waffen SS.
The military wing of the Nazi party committed countless war crimes and was actively involved in running concentration and death camps during the Holocaust.
Town officials now want to conduct further research into the circumstances of the men’s deaths and the history of Nazi activity and their victims in the region.
Ex-FPÖ-LAbg. Willi Grissemann zündet vor laufender ORF-Kamera Kerzlein für drei SS-Angehörige (Totenkopf-Infanterie bzw. Waffen-SS) an.
Und der aktuelle Bürgermeister von Imst (ÖVP) weigert sich, das SS-Ehrenmal von Gemeindegrund zu entfernen!https://t.co/ZEMjZlEscT pic.twitter.com/yf24J7Qf6l
— Markus Wilhelm (@dietiwag) July 24, 2021