July 1, 2016
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in condemnation of the flying of a Nazi battle flag at a home in Lauderdale, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities:
"The JCRC condemns the flying of a Nazi battle flag at a home in Lauderdale, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities.
"We stand in solidarity with the neighbors disgusted by this hateful display, as well as the greater Jewish and non-Jewish communities who are outraged by this symbol of genocide and tyranny.
"While the flying of this Nazi battle flag on private property is protected under the First Amendment, this display is a particularly egregious affront to the elderly Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans living in Minnesota.
"The JCRC is also in complete agreement with Al Zdon, Communications Director for the American Legion's Department of Minnesota, who stated, '[d]isplaying a Nazi battle flag is an insult and an outrage to American veterans and their families who sacrificed so much, often their lives, to defeat Nazi Germany and the hate and evil it posed to the world.'
"Finally, we wish all Americans a happy Fourth of July, a time for family togetherness, but also an occasion to honor those Americans, including those who fought and died against Nazi aggression, who because of their sacrifice and service we live in a nation where our many freedoms include the right to fly flags, which in the words of Mr. Zdon are 'heinous and wicked.'"
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.