Wisconsin: Hitler shrine won't open after all

June 16, 2006 00:03

A retired farmer who claims he was a Nazi SS officer has agreed not to open a memorial he built to Hitler, local officials say. Ted Junker, 87, had planned a grand opening for his shrine June 25 on his farm in southeastern Wisconsin. But Walworth County officials met with Junker on Thursday morning and persuaded him to keep the shrine closed, said Mike Cotter, county deputy corporation counsel. No one answered the phone at Junker's farm when The Associated Press called Thursday. Cotter said county officials used bureaucratic issues to discourage the farmer, saying officials classified it as an assembly hall or museum and that Junker would need permits. Junker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he volunteered to join the German Waffen-SS, Hitler's feared special police, in 1940 and served in Russia. He came to the US in 1955. Junker told the paper he set up the shrine to correct what he called inaccuracies about World War II and Hitler's role in it. He also told the newspaper he does not believe Hitler was to blame for the Holocaust, in which some 6 million Jews were killed.

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