29 September 2013

Old Haunts of the Heritage Front

We're currently waiting for some information regarding a couple of upcoming articles, but we thought that we would revisit our project concerning documenting the history of the Canadian racist movement. The primary focus of our research has been on the years 1989 to 1994 under the leadership of Wolfgang Droege which coincided with the rise and decline of the Heritage Front, though there was a brief mini-resurgence in 2001 under the watch of Marc Lemire.

Two weeks ago a couple of ARC members began documenting some of key locations in the early history of the Heritage Front in Toronto. There are rumors that some of the locations, such as the, "Zündel Haus" may be torn down to make way for condos so we decided to record them while they still exist.


Above is 2 North Drive, the long time residence of Heritage Front founder Wolfgang Droege. In fact it was also here where Droege was murdered in 2005.


The lobby interior. Apparently not much has changed during the past two decades.

That includes two of the residents.


This bar has a new name and is under new management (the lovely woman we spoke to had only a vague idea that the place was once rather infamous), but it used to be known as The Parkway. It was the informal, but official, headquarters of the Heritage Front. The HF gang met there at least once an evening every week, 20 people at any given time. Since it was right around the block from Zundel's place he also dropped in sometimes. In addition to Droege, Gerry Lincoln, and Grant Bristow, a lot of other boneheads met there including George Burdi and Chris Newhook (in "Hearts of Hate" this is the location where Newhook's birthday party took place).  The bar pre-dated the HF as a meeting place for boneheads; Droege, Lincoln, Bristow, and other used to meet here while still members of the Nationalist Party.



Ernst Zündel's home on Carleton St. At one time ground zero for the international dissemination of Holocaust denial propaganda (Samisdat Publishers, Ltd). And, perhaps not surprising, somewhat of a focal point for demonstrations opposed to that propaganda.

Even today the windows are all barred and the video cameras, likely no longer working, are still present.

Zündel turned this place into quite the little fortress.

 

When he defending Zündel in the mid 1980s, Doug Christie stayed at Zündel's home. The room that Christie stayed in had red drapes and a framed photo of Hitler on the wall.

Zündel held a number of events in the house for his elderly, mostly German, patrons. When the arrived they would immediately go down into the basement:


Here Zündel would give speeches, screen propaganda, and play "nationalist" music, often composed during the Nazi era. We actually managed to get a photo of one of these meetings some time ago:

 
We were told one of the men in the photo above is Jack Prins.

A good number of the major events organized by the HF took place at Latvian House:




It was in the parking lot where Tom Metzger and his son John of White Aryan Resistance, invited to give a speech to the HF, were arrested on June 28, 1992 for entering Canada illegally (they would be deported on July 2). And on December 8, 1990 our good friend Paulie gave a speech at the HF's "Martyr's Day" memorial event honoring terrorist Robert Mathews.




If our readers are interested, the other parts of the video can be found here, here, and here.

Paulie had used this location for events decades earlier as a founder of the Edmund Burke Society.

In what might be a bit of a surprise to a lot of people who are familiar with the history of the Heritage Front, Latvian House is located less than a block from this location:



Sneaky Dee's was a hangout for ARA members and was the site of a bit of brawl between ARA and Heritage Front members. Earlier in the day during a protest outside Gary Schipper's (the "voice of the HF") a few individuals vandalized the house (though there is some debate as to whether the people who did the damage were actually ARA members). In retaliation, members of the HF attacked the ARA here, resulting in Droege's arrest and eventual conviction some time later.

As always if our readers have anything they wish to share with us, please feel free to send us an email

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Latvian house was a weird space. I actually remember going to fundraisers there for the Toronto Coalition Against Racism.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to point out that Wolfgang Droege got his jaw broken by an ARA member during that brawl @ Sneaky Dee's just before Wolfie got arrested. Not a good day for the boneheads!