World War II vet expresses dismay after Charlottesville

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PLAINVIEW -

A World War II veteran from Plainview who fought against the Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge says the sights and sounds coming out of Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend had him shaking his head in disbelief. 

Irving Greger, a Jewish man, was a platoon commander during the war. He says he served his country proudly because he knew the Nazi agenda of hatred had to be stopped.

"We should condemn it with all our might," he tells News 12 Long Island.

White supremacists, KKK members and neo-Nazis flocked to Charlottesville over the weekend for a "Unite the Right" rally. During a clash with counterprotesters, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly drove into a crowd. Fields Jr. is reportedly a Nazi-sympathizer. 

Greger's wife Sally lost family members in the Holocaust. The 96-year-old remembers her mother worrying about her sisters who were still living in Poland in 1943.

"No mail came from them…she says to me, 'Something is wrong. I feel it,'" says Sally Greger. 

Sally Greger's aunts, along with her young cousins and other family members, had been locked in a barn that was then set on fire.

"I try to suppress it because it could make you sick," she says. 

The couple says they never thought their four children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren would have to live in a world where clashes like those in Charlottesville exist.

"You want somebody to stand up and tell them we will not stand for it," says Irving. 

President Donald Trump has received some negative reaction for his response to the events in Charlottesville. At Trump Tower Tuesday, he said there were "some very bad people" among the protesters. But he also said, "You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."
 

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