LA CRESCENTA (CBSLA.com) — Some people who live near a park in La Crescenta are having trouble with the venue’s “welcome” sign.
CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo reports the name on the sign, Hindenburg, harkens back to a time when Nazi flags and swastikas flew in the park.
Some say the name just represent German-American pride.
Not so says the Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.
“We’d like the sign taken down,” said Jason Moss of the Jewish Federation.
“The name Hindenburg evokes a lot of emotion for the Jewish community,” Moss said.
The county renamed the area of park after Paul Von Hindenburg in the 1990’s. But the controversy started when the sign was put up last month by the Tricentennial Foundation, a German heritage group.
It was first named after the war hero and German president prior to World War II when the land was owned by the German American League.
But it’s the fact that an ailing Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor that has some arguing the name has got to go.
“This is something the county is saying that they are okay with, we’re not,” said Moss.
“Hindenburg appointed Hitler when there was a lot of politics going on that didn’t necessarily point to Hindenburg what was to come with Hitler,” says park goer Robert Zuniga.
That is also the argument the Tricenntenial Foundation is making. The chairman told Fajardo by phone the sign is merely meant to commemorate the German-American communities long history in the area
“The fact it also commemorates what took place at that park as well needs to be understood,” says Moss,
And what happened were rallies where the American arm of the Nazi party — the Bund — was said to have rented the park.
The Tricenntenial Foundation says the images are misleading and that the people who were rallying in the park weren’t necessarily pro Nazi but were waving what was the German flag at the time,
Either way some park goers say that history is reason enough for the name and sign to stay.
“Some things happened [in the park] that was not respectable,” says park goer Carolyn Ingram, “but that shouldn’t be lost. To forget history is to repeat it,”