The far-right Chilean presidential candidate José Antonio Kast (José Antonio Kast), The winner of the first round of electionsAfter investigation by the Associated Press, it was discovered that his father was German and was involved in the scandal. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party memberThese revelations contradict what the far-right candidate said about his father’s military service during World War II.
According to the presidential candidate, his father fought as an ordinary conscript in the German army, which did not make him a Nazi. In 2018, in a television interview, he denied all allegations. “Why do you use the adjective Nazi?”Custer then asked. “When a war broke out and enlisted in the army, a 17-year-old or 18-year-old could not choose to say’I will not go’ because they had a military trial and shot the next day,” he defended.
An ID card from the German Federal Archives shows that 18-year-old Michael Kast joined the German National Socialist Workers’ Party (NSDAP) on September 1, 1942, at the time of the fiercest German war. At that time, Hitler opposed the Soviet Union.
Fact check: This is an official document of the German government, confirming Jose Antonio Kast’s father’s militant nature in the Nazi party pic.twitter.com/xnIzdfJrcJ
-Mauricio Weibel Barahona (@mauricio_weibel) December 1, 2021
Although the Federal Archives cannot confirm whether Michael Custer is the father of the presidential candidate, The date and place of birth on the card are consistent with the date and place of birth of Custer’s father, Passed away in 2014. The Chilean journalist Mauricio Weibel previously posted a copy of the ID on social networks, with the affiliate number 9271831.
There is no evidence that Custer was involved in Nazi atrocities, such as the extermination of European Jews. But although military service is mandatory, Joining the Nazi Party is voluntarySome Germans joined enthusiastically, while others did so to gain an advantage in a society where since 1933 the broad sector of public life had to agree to Nazi ideology.
“We don’t have an example of a person being forced to join the party,” said German historian Armin Norzen, who has extensively studied the affiliation of NSDAP.
Custer’s father joined the party in 1942, Five months before your 18th birthday, Minimum age to join. Nuorzen said that he is likely to be a member of the Hitler Youth League for four years and will be recommended by his regional leader to join the party. That year, the party had 7.1 million members, about 10% of the total population.
It is not clear whether the current candidate Custer is aware of the existence of his father’s NSDAP membership record. The spokesperson for the event, Carolina Alaya, declined to answer repeated questions from the Associated Press on the matter.
“Whoever is a member of the party is a member of the party,” said Richard F. Wetzel, a researcher at the German Institute of History in Washington. “Being a member of the party connects you to the party and its ideology, although many people may join for purely opportunistic reasons.”
The 55-year-old Republican candidate Custer led left-wing Congressman Gabriel Boric by two points in the first round of the presidential election last month. He will face him in the second round on December 19 .
Avid Catholic, father of nine childrenCuster has deep family ties with the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who came to power in a coup in 1973. His brother Miguel Custer served as the governor of the central bank during the dictatorship.
“If (Pinochet) is still alive, he will vote for me”Custer boasted in the 2018 election campaign that he won 8% of the vote. “Now, if I meet him, we will have a cup of tea in La Moneda,” the presidential palace.
In this year’s election campaign, he emphasized his conservative family values, Attacks on Haitian and Venezuelan immigrants He blamed him for the increase in crime and said that Paulick was a puppet of the Chilean Communists.
It attracted most of the middle class, who feared that Borik, the former leader of the student protests, would undermine the envy of Chile’s three-year economic and political stability for many Latin Americans.To emphasize these concerns, Custer traveled to Washington last week, where Meeting with U.S. investor and Senator Marco RubioHe is the highest-ranking Republican in the subcommittee responsible for overseeing relations between the United States and Latin America.
Some of his most radical supporters have launched an online campaign, including false tweets by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, false allegations about immigrants working at polling stations, and Castell’s urging Borik in a debate. A falsified medical report after taking a drug test.
The recent polls put Boric slightly ahead, he turned to the centrist and won votes from those who were afraid to return to the country’s troubled past.
“This supports Boric’s campaign as a The dichotomy of fascism and democracy”, Jennifer Prible, an expert on Chilean issues at the University of Richmond, emphasized the trajectory of the old Castell in the war. “In a way, Custer seems to hide some elements of his family’s past, and he supports this claim.”
This is not the first time Kast has been censored in the past. A book about Pinochet’s civic collaborators written by a Chilean journalist in 2015 Javier Reboledo He argued that Kast Senior did not initially want to join the Nazi Party, but was persuaded by a sergeant when he was mobilized to the Crimean Peninsula. Rebolledo quoted the memoirs of Kast’s wife in his book.
At that time, the battle of Stalingrad was fought. This was the turning point of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. Approximately 2 million people dieds and a few months later the Axis forces surrendered there. Reboledo said that at the end of the war, Castell, who had been mobilized in Italy, obtained a false identity document from the ICRC.
After evading arrest by the Allies twice, he returned to Germany and was found during World War II. Post-war period of de-NazificationHowever, according to Reboledo’s book, when he admitted to his deception, a prosecutor who supported him sympathized with him and burned his military documents because of his honesty.
Kast Jr. accuses Chilean journalists Take out of context and distort facts Blame the sinister motives on his father’s wartime activities.
In any situation, Custer moved to Chile in 1950A year later, his wife and two older children settled in Paine, a rural area south of San Diego.From a small cooked food stall, the couple created a A national chain restaurant and a packaged food factory.
A law passed by Congress in 1995 granted Kast Sr. citizenship, highlighting his Catholic roots and “great spirit of social justice,” which prompted him to build five churches, hospitals, and a youth center, and donated it to Cecinas Bavaria, an employee of his company, bought a house.
But the success of the clan has its dark side. According to Reboledo, during the socialist government of Salvador Allende, left-wing agitators and farmers threatened to expropriate family businesses. On the second day after Pinochet launched a coup against Allende, the Paine police acted in broad daylight. Kidnapped Pedro Vargas, a young activist who organized Bavarian workersa. When queuing to buy bread.
According to his statement to investigators in 2003 regarding the disappearance of Vargas, during this frenzy, the candidate’s brother, then 16-year-old Christian Custer, distributed food to the city police.The next day he said he went to the police station to have a barbecue, and he said he saw one there A dozen detainees “Vargas is not among them.” They took away their shaved hair, and they never appeared again.
The upset Vargas relatives ran to see Michael Castor. “I thought he would help us,” the person, who asked not to be named, told the Associated Press because he was afraid of retaliation in five years. “But he told me, Going home is a battle of life and death. I can not believe it”.
Today, a few kilometers from the presidential candidate’s house, it is filled with symbols of Vargas’ short life’s passion-a book, a scale of justice, his dog-adorned with one of them 70 mosaic works, paying tribute to every victim of this population The idyllic scenery is known for its highest number of missing persons per capita in Chile.