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Spindler responds to Kennett's Hitler slur



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Senator Sid Spindler Australian Democrats Spokesperson on Law & Justice

8 May, 1996 _______ MEDIA RELEASE 96/244

Spindler responds to Kennett's Hitler Slur Transcript of Personal Explanation in Senate

Senator Spindler: Madam Acting Deputy President, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Madam Acting Deputy President: Is leave granted? Leave is granted.

Senator Spindler: Thank you, Madam Acting Deputy President. Following the Senate's passing of the motion to establish a Casino Inquiry, Premier Kennett is reported to have said this afternoon at a function of the Ringwood Chamber of Commerce and I quote:

"I would suggest that Senator Spindler, who started his young life as a member of the Hitler Youth, is now going to complete his public performance in very much the same way."

Mr Kennett's case, Madam Acting Deputy President, cannot be very good if he has to resort to name calling and character assassination in an attempt to avoid accountability.

The facts are that I was seven years old when the War started, twelve when the War ended, and that my parents were Germans and that all German girls and boys were automatically enrolled in the Youth Division of the Hitler Youth at the age of ten. We had no choice.

My experience during those years has made me a lifelong peace activist, an anti-racist and a strong opponent of totalitarian regimes. And my record on these issues is on public view.

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Similar attacks were made in 1990 when I stood as a candidate for the Senate. I believe they actually got me votes because the community saw how sleazy those attacks were.

I believe Mr Kennett's words will backfire on him in a similar way. I believe that Australians who suffered similar experiences as children in the European war zone will be deeply distressed by Mr Kennett's insensitive attack.

For further information, contact Sid Spindler on (06) 277 3640 or Mathew Townsend 0411 220 277 COMMONWEALTH !.(^yCBNTARY LIBRARY

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