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Blacks Discriminated Against Since World War II by New York Suburb Founded By Nazi Sympathizers

This pro-Nazi New York town held pro-Nazi rallies during the 1930's. Japanese Americans were subjected to mass arrest and interment during World War II because of "possible sympathy" for the Japanese war machine — but the Nazis in this town were left alone.

Nazi Flag: Adorns horm in "Nazi Town" in New York. ((WVEC))
Nazi Flag: Adorns horm in "Nazi Town" in New York. ((WVEC))

By Reuters
New York suburb that was established by Nazi sympathizers in the years leading up to World War Two still uses discriminatory housing practices to ensure its residents remain white, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

A couple who lived in Yaphank, a hamlet of 6,000 about 65 miles (105 km) east of New York City, claims the organization that owns the land under their house enforces bylaws requiring homeowners to be primarily of German ancestry.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday in federal court in Central Islip, Philip Kneer and Patricia Flynn-Kneer said the German American Settlement League had violated federal housing law.

“Since its incorporation in 1937, the GASL has excluded non-whites from its membership, recreational programs, and summer homes in favor of new residents with German ancestry,” the complaint said.

The league owns the land in Siegfried Park, a residential community in Yaphank, and rents out approximately 50 lots to its members, according to the lawsuit.

Robert Kessler, the group’s president, declined to comment on Tuesday. He told the New York Times, which first reported the lawsuit, that the community’s rules were misunderstood and not exclusionary.

The lawsuit, which was joined by nonprofit Long Island Housing Services, included what it said was a recent photo of a Nazi medallion atop a German flag in the community clubhouse.

The league was founded as an affiliate of the German-American Bund, an organization of Nazi sympathizers. Siegfried Park, then known as Camp Siegfried, was built to promote German culture in 1935, according to the Yaphank historical society.

The camp hosted huge pro-Nazi rallies in the 1930s, when families would travel from New York on the “Camp Siegfried Special” train, according to historical accounts.

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