Couple refuses to take down Nazi flag flying across from home of Holocaust survivor
An Australian couple has provoked severe controversy in their small community, after flying a flag emblazoned with Nazi symbols from their house - which lies just across the road from the home of an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor.
Cheryl and Bill Lawdron allegedly flew the flag to celebrate Cherly's German ancestry. They moved into the property 12 months ago and claimed that they had no complaints about the flag until recently.
Take a look at this news report on the controversy:
The flag, which featured a large swastika and Iron Cross, was sparked mass protests in the country town of Beulah, and has since been removed following a joint effort by neighbors, police, and a Jewish member of the local parliament.
Despite the fact that there had been 400 complaints from the community, there are apparently no laws prohibiting the display of offensive insignia. However, a police officer has since removed the flag on Mr. Lawdron's behalf, following the intervention of the local authorities.
In an interview with Nine News’ A Current Affair, one neighbor stated: "This is absolutely disgraceful they fly this bloody thing. I swear to God I was going to jump his fence, pull the thing down and burn it in his driveway."
They added: "Everyone is furious about it. And they’re flaunting it in the face of people who were in the concentration camps, it’s just disgraceful."
Commenting on the issue, Victorian state lawmaker David Southwick of the Liberal Party stated: "Once again, this incident demonstrates the rising wave of anti-Semitism and racial hatred in Victoria and highlights the need for greater State Government action to crack down on incidents such as these in the future.
He added: "A Nazi flag displayed in a small fruit farming country town that has people from different multicultural backgrounds, including Jewish and Muslim, shows that nobody is safe from this hate."