One of America's most notorious Nazi sympathizers was buried on Wednesday in the national military cemetery reserved for decorated servicemen and presidents, the Huffington Post reported.
Willis Carto, who died in October at the age of 89, was a founder of the Liberty Lobby, a white supremacist organization, and the Institute for Historical Review, which promotes Holocaust denial.
In a letter published in 1966, he wrote that "Hitler's defeat was the defeat of Europe. And of America."
But Carto qualified for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, across the river from Washington DC, by virtue of the Purple Heart he won while fighting, and being wounded, in the Philippines during World War II.
Purple Heart recipients are among the veterans and family members of veterans who may be interred in Arlington's military cemetery - as long as they were subsequently honorably discharged and not convicted of a state or federal crime.
Jennifer Lynch, a spokeswoman for the cemetery, told the Huffington Post that a person’s political views do not have any bearing on their eligibility for burial.
"He was laughing about it: 'I’m probably America’s biggest Hitler fan, but I'll be buried alongside all these World War II vets,'’” said Todd Blodgett, a former FBI spy who kept Carto under surveillance from 2000 to 2002.
One of the some two dozen people attending Carto's funeral on Wednesday described him as a “great man.”
“He stood up for the best interests of this country and against all the special interests, who would like to see us submerged into this polyglot, one-world - whatever you want to call it,” said the man, who called himself Joel.
He then confirmed that the “special interests” were the Jews.
“Of course," he said. "Who else?"
“It is unfortunate that someone with Carto’s views gets to be buried in our national cemetery, but if he meets the criteria there is not much that can be done,” said Marilyn Mayo, a spokeswoman for the Anti-Defamation League. “The government cannot be tasked with whether or not to bury someone based on their ideology.”
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