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Austrian town mulls removing soldiers' memorial after Nazi revelation

The memorial was built in Imst in 1975.
The memorial was built in Imst in 1975. Copyright Stadt Imst
Copyright Stadt Imst
By Euronews with AP
Published on
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The western Austrian town of Imst is reportedly planning to remove a memorial to three soldiers who were members of the Waffen SS during World War II.

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A town in Austria is reportedly planning to remove a memorial to three Waffen SS soldiers, who were killed during World War II.

The monument in the western town of Imst has raised concerns from locals after the soldiers' background was revealed.

The memorial was built in 1975 as a tribute to three men who were believed to have been executed by American troops on May 19, 1945, more than a week after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

After frequent visits to the town's square by far-right supporters, residents researched the men’s military records and found they had in fact been members of the Waffen SS.

The military wing of the Nazi party committed countless war crimes and was actively involved in running concentration and death camps during the Holocaust.

Town officials now want to conduct further research into the circumstances of the men’s deaths and the history of Nazi activity and their victims in the region.

A statement on the municipality's website confirmed that the memorial has "become the focus of public attention and is the subject of intense discussion".

AP Photo, File
The 44th Infantry Division, US Seventh Army, parades on VE Day through the town square of Imst in May 1945.AP Photo, File

"It goes without saying that the memorial should not be preserved in this form," the statement added.

"The town of Imst is fully aware of its responsibility in this regard and distances itself from any glorification or trivialisation of National Socialism."

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