Skiing
Skiing Hadas Parush/Flash 90

After months of pressure, and protests by the local Jewish community, one of the most popular ski resorts in New Zealand has finally cancelled plans to name its mountain and restaurant after a recently deceased man who was a decorated officer in the Waffen SS.

Willi Huber, who died last August at 97, was known in New Zealand as a longtime promoter of skiing and was dubbed “the father of the mountain” for founding the Canterbury’s Mt. Hutt ski resort in the 1970s.

Huber came to New Zealand in 1953 from Austria. The New Zealand Herald in an obituary stated that his father had been a Nazi Party supporter, that Huber had been in the Hitler Youth, and that when he turned 17 he volunteered for the SS in 1940. He became a decorated officer.

According to New Zealand news site, Newsroom, the news that Mt. Hutt was planning to name its slope and restaurant after Huber was especially shocking considering his past comment to interview show Sunday that Hitler was “clever.”

A petition was launched to remove his name from the resort. The petition stated, “Former Nazi-Waffen soldier Willi Huber is to have his ‘legacy’ remembered by the Mt. Hutt Ski Area. Mt Hutt. Ski Area Manager James McKenzie was recently quoted in stuff.co.nz as saying, ‘He made a new start here and tried to put the past behind him. We are happy to respect his legacy.’”

“This is not a 'legacy' to be proud of and is an insult to all those murdered by the Nazis or who died fighting the Nazis. How lucky Mr Huber was to be able to make a ‘new start’, something that was not afforded to the victims murdered by the SS.”

In interviews, Huber claimed he wasn't aware of atrocities going on in concentration camps. However, in the petition, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem and renowned Nazi hunter Dr Efraim Zuroff is quoted as saying, "There is no way that Mr Huber could not have been aware of the massive atrocities carried out by the SS..... where 1,500,000 'enemies of the Reich', primarily Jews, were murdered individually during the years 1942-1943."

According to Newsroom, Mt. Hutt has removed the name Huber’s Run from its ski trail map. Its restaurant has also been renamed to Opuke Kai, a Maori word for Mt. Hutt.

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