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Local WWII veteran condemns use of Nazi symbol in Charlottesville

Posted at 11:07 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 05:12:12-04

Carl Arfa of Boca Raton has had a grudge against hate his entire life.

"We saw that Nazi flag flying from many, many cities. I have one here that I took down from Leipzig, Germany. I'd like to show if to you if you'd let me?" the World War II veteran says, opening a briefcase next to him during our interview at his Boca Raton home.

"While they were shooting at us, we were shooting at them and I went up the flag pole and got this thing and my friends thought I was nuts," he says, now unfolding a Nazi flag.

He had his fellow infantrymen sign the flag to authenticate to his dad how he got it. That was in the 1940's.

Over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., white supremacists chanted Nazi slogans, held Nazi flags and torches and marched in the streets. 

A counter-demonstrator was killed after she was run over by a car driven intentionally at a group of people, police said.  Two police officers died in a helicopter crash that was monitoring the situation.

"Sixty million people died because of this symbol, and one more lady died this week because of this symbol. How are we allowing this to occur?" Arfa says.

He says this hate is learned in part because history isn't taught well enough in classrooms.

"This is the most evil symbol in the history of mankind," Arfa says. "This was not freedom of speech. This was freedom of killing. This was freedom of hatred. This was freedom of racism."

At 93-years-old, he's in that same fight he was in at 18.

"This flag is an evil symbol and this flag needs to be understood ... it killed 60 million people," he says.

Before he learned what hate was, he learned respect.

"When I was a youngster, my dad said to me, 'You can do anything you want, but you have to have respect for everybody,'" he says. "And I have."

Carl Arfa lecturs at many schools in Palm Beach County, where he brings the flag with him to help educate today's youth about the evil within hate.  He will donate the flag to the Holocaust museum when he physically can't lecture anymore, he says.