Pro-Nazi posters found on UBC campus on Remembrance Day
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 8:52AM PST Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 7:04PM PST
School administrators and groups committed to countering anti-Semitism are speaking out after pro-Nazi posters were found on the University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus on Remembrance Day.
"We utterly condemn these posters," said Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B'nai Brith Canada.
"There's no time that would be more inappropriate to have neo-Nazi and Nazi posters posted around (than) a day that we should be honouring our veterans in the victory over the Nazis and the evil that they were trying to perpetrate on mankind."
The posters were discovered just hours before the school hosted a Remembrance Day ceremony Saturday.
One of the flyers had a swastika on it. The other featured a photo of Nazi soldiers with the caption "Lest we forget the true heroes of WW2" and the German phrase “meine ehre heisst treue.” The Nazi-era motto translates to “my honour is loyalty.”
Both posters also provided URLs for racist websites.
Chloe Rickard, a student, said she was "pretty shocked" after seeing the posters.
"It hit me that Saturday was Remembrance Day and it was about two hours before the ceremony started," she said.
"Obviously, I was kind of horrified. It's not a good feeling to see that on your own campus."
Rickard alerted campus security, who immediately sent staff to remove the flyers.
The school later issued its own statement condemning the hateful posters.
"UBC takes incidents of hate and racism very serious," the school's vice-president of external relations, Philip Steenkamp, said in the statement.
“The posters…are disturbing and of serious concern particularly on a day when we collectively honour and remember all those who served in times of war, military conflict and peace."
Mostyn commended the university's response to the incident, adding that education is the key to ensuring racist ideologies do not gain ground in Canada.
"It's great that university administrators are taking a stance against this, but we need to ensure that our youth are not poisoned by this Nazi ideology in Canada," he said.
"We have to have eternal vigilance against this disgusting sort of an ideology that believes some races are superior than others. University campuses are the places where all of this stuff starts."
Similar posters have surfaced in cities and campuses across British Columbia over the past year, including Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond and Abbotsford.
On Wednesday, posters promoting Stormfront, a self-described white nationalist community of who claim to promote the interests and values of white people appeared on outside a Burnaby library.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies says it has reached out to Burnaby RCMP about the incident.
The week before that, the FSWC spoke out against anti-Semitic flyers posted at the University of Victoria campus.
“(((Those))) who hate us will not replace us,” the posters read and provided URLs to white supremacist websites.
Triple parentheses are frequently used by neo-Nazis to refer to Jewish people. The group’s slogan itself is reminiscent of the one white supremacists chanted at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. that turned deadly in August.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson and The Canadian Press