Martin Weiche

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Martin K. Weiche (January 6, 1921 - September 2, 2011) was the chairman of the Canadian National Socialist Party and a successful building contractor in London, Ontario.[1] He had a family of nine children. His politics put a strain on his family; Weiche had four marriages.

Background

Martin Weiche was born in Lebus, Germany in 1921. In 1938 he moved to Berlin with his parents and became a member of the Hitler Youth.[2] Weiche was Luftwaffe pilot during the Second World War. He emigrated to Canada in November 1951 arriving at Halifax on the steamship SS Homeland. He earned a living by buying houses renovating them and selling them at a profit.

In 1957, Weiche started building apartment buildings in the cities of London and Sarnia. In London, he built a total of thirteen buildings, from a nine unit with a large penthouse suite to the complex known as "Skyview" with 234 units.[3] In Sarnia, in 1965, Weiche built "Huron View Towers" with 74 units and a large penthouse suite, which was the largest apartment building in Sarnia at the time.

Weiche quit his building activities in 1980 and retired to his residence, known as "The Berghof", in Hyde Park, Ontario.

Political activity

Martin Weiche was not politically active until 1965 when he read Hitler's Mein Kampf for the first time. In a 1968 Canadian federal election he ran for office openly as a National Socialist.

Weiche also ran as an independent candidate endorsed by the breakaway Social Credit Association of Ontario and the Western Guard in Trinity riding in the 1974 federal election. He won 64 votes, 0.3% of the total.[4]

Until the 1970s, candidates were free to identify their political affiliation as they saw fit. As of the 1972 election, however, candidates who were not nominated by officially registered political parties could only identify themselves as "Independent" or "no party".

In 1980, Weiche was identified in the media as president of the Canadian National Socialist Party (an unregistered political party) when, in Sarnia, Weiche was invited to appear on radio station CHOK. The appearance was cancelled due to public complaints. Despite the cancellation, a clash broke out between followers of Weiche and members of the Conference Against Racist and Fascist Violence during a protest outside the station.[5]

Later that year, a Ku Klux Klan cross lighting and rally led by Alexander McQuirter was held on Weiche's 12 acre farm in southwestern Ontario.

A subsequent cross lighting on his property in 1993 attended by approximately 40 people dressed in Klan regalia led the provincial government of Bob Rae to consider amending the Ontario Human Rights Code to ban the activity.[6]

Later activities

In the 1990s, Weiche worked with the Nationalist Party of Canada's Don Andrews in an attempt to have municipalities recognize "European Heritage Week" following up from a successful 1995 attempt to have London, Ontario recognize "European Heritage Day". Weiche filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission when the city rejected Weiche's proposal.[7]

Weiche made his fortune as a developer and, in 2000, was reported by Now Magazine to be a major financial backer of far-right leader Paul Fromm[8]

On his farm he had a large Sanskrit-styled (reversed) swastika cut into his field.

Weiche died of kidney failure on September 2, 2011, at the age of 90.

References

  1. Infamous neo-Nazi dies
  2. Is God a Racist?: The Right Wing in Canada, by Stanley R. Barrett, page 166
  3. Records of Eng. Dept., City of London
  4. History of Federal Ridings since 1867
  5. Canadian Press, "Melee erupts at protest over planned talk show", The Globe and Mail, October 11, 1980
  6. Gail Swainson and Peter Small, "Province looks at tougher laws after London cross-burning", Toronto Star, May 12, 1993
  7. Canada
  8. Enzo DiMatteo (December 14–20, 2000). The two faces of Paul Fromm. Now Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
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