Demand Ajax Council's Passed Motion to Rename Nazi Street Be Followed!
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On November 16th, 2020 Ajax Council voted 4-3 to remove the name of the Nazi Warship Captain, Hans Langsdorff, from a street honouring him in Ajax, Ontario. The pain this street name caused to survivors of the holocaust, Jews and those who believe in a diverse and welcoming Ajax was apparent and expressed, including by Holocaust Survivor Max Eisen. During this meeting a few things of note came up.
1) There is a record of Hans Langsdorff making pro Hitler and the Third Reich statements. This was not disputed.
2) There is not a single word on record for which Hans Langsdorff ever spoke against Hitler or the Nazis.
3) There is a difference of opinion over whether this is because he was too cowardly to speak against the Nazis out of fear of repercussions, or because it is what he truly believed.
4) Not all Germans were Nazis and many honourable Germans took up arms or otherwise harmed the Nazi cause and saved Jews from persecution and they deserve to be honoured. This was not the case with Hans Langsdorff, nor was it reported to be by his supporters.
I assure you, not a single one of these statements can be disputed and if they could be they would have been at this council meeting.
Once these facts were presented and argued 4 councillors, Lisa Bower (who made the motion to change the street name), Sterling Lee (the seconder), Marilyn Crawford and Rob Tyler-Morin passed the motion.
Against were: Mayor Collier, Ashmeed Khan and Joanne Dies who insisted this name must stay. They insisted that Hans Langsdorff deserved this honour, (there is a plaque on the street stating this is an honour bestowed upon Langsdorff. This is relevant because some councillors hid behind the idea that it was not an honour but rather a part of history). Here are relevant facts about council:
1) Ajax's own Diversity Staffer spoke out against the Mayor's position during the meeting.
2) Ashmeed Khan made unrelated statements about Israeli oppression of Palestinians and that we should not "pander to this small group of people." When given the choice of explaining how these statements were not anti-Semitic or apologizing for them, he apologized; one can only assume because no explanation was possible. He stated "I would like to apologize for any comments I made that were hurtful to yourself and the Jewish Community. That was not my intention." He did not withdraw the statements, or imply they did not represent his views. When Mayor Collier was asked, "Now to my concern; as you responded to my inquiry any comments on Mr. Khan’s statements about the “Oppressive Jewish State of Israel?” And their relevance to the discussion last night? What do you think he meant by those words?" Mayor Collier responded as follows, "I am not Councillor Khan’s boss and I don’t speak on his behalf." If that sounds familiar it could be because it is an excellent example of the famous quote "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
3) Joanne Dies has taken an interesting approach. A combination of the straw dog argument that "not all Germans were Nazis," which no one is disputing, and here is where it gets really weird, she goes on to state how Black Lives Matters has taught her that we do need streets named for Germans, even those who were loyal to Hitler, because they shouldn’t be discriminated against. “I also personally don't feel that all Germans were Nazis. Black Lives Matter has broughtto the forefront this very issue that we cannot judge people by colour, race, gender or religion." (typos are left as is from her correspondence with another Ajax resident)...that's right, Black Lives Matter taught her this.
As usual, people's true natures usually come to light and you can make your own conclusions about these councillors. It has become known that behind the scenes the Mayor is continuing to work against the expressed will of council.
It is imperative that letters of disgust and outrage be sent to the councillors who for whatever reasons want the name of Nazi Warship Captain Hans Langsdorff to be memorialized and honoured in the town named for the ships that fought against him:
It is equally important that letters of support are sent to the councillors who voted for Ajax to progress past this mistake, so those councillors do not lose their resolve:
Please sign this petition and help Ajax follow through on it’s commitment to right this wrong.
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