NIPAWIN — Jim Grandfield is 96 years of age and living in Nipawin, but if you read his enlistment papers from the Second World War, he would now be 98.
In 2019, he has lived to see the Nazi swastika flag he once fought to take down being raised again.
“You know, I talked to a German soldier after the war,” Grandfield said. “First thing he said to me, he hoped that we weren’t mad and hated German people.
“I said to him, we weren’t after German people, we were only after one person. That was Hitler and his regime. [The soldier] told me that when he turned to be 14 years of age he had to put on the uniform, be in a German army, or be shot. They had no outside contact with the outside world. No radio, no TV, nothing. They couldn’t even accept letters from outside. So you can’t blame German people, just Hitler and his regime was the bad ones.
“These guys that try to keep that flag going, I have no use for them.”
During the same day this interview took place, June 8, the Pride parade in Detroit was protested by neo-Nazis waving swastikas, guarded by police.
A month prior, in May, the flag swastika was raised outside a Kelliher, Sask. home. The flag was disposed of by a man who stole the flag, along with its Confederate counterpart. The man posted the video of the burning on Facebook.
When asked about the recent rise of Nazi symbolism and neo-Nazis, Grandfield said, “Any of those guys who remember the Nazis have no use for them. You know, it’s hard to take a bead on a human being, but if I saw Hitler or any of his regime, I wouldn’t think twice about pulling the trigger,” Grandfield said. “Ordinarily you don’t want to kill nobody, but that outfit – yes.”