Butte woman's successful fight to claim home culminates with eviction
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Neighbors of a neo-Nazi group cheered and applauded Tuesday as the group moved out of a villa in Aalborg that Danish courts ruled didn't belong to them but to a Butte woman.
"We yelled, we jumped, we danced as the moving van drove away," said Julle Larsen, a spokeswoman for the neighbors. "We even stepped into their garden to have a peak."
On May 8, the Western High Court put an end of a legal battle that started in February 1999, when Denmark's National Socialist Movement inherited the two-story villa from Gunnar Gram, a Danish Nazi during World War II.
Outraged by having neo-Nazis next door, neighbors traced Gram's half-sister Edith Craig and began a campaign to oust the group from a residential district of Aalborg, 140 miles northwest of the capital, Copenhagen.
When he made his will, Gram, who died in 1998 at the age of 76, was not aware of the existence of Craig, who lives in Butte.
Last week, the Western High Court confirmed an earlier invalidation of Gram's will. It was annulled because the two witnesses who saw Gram make the document were members of the group that inherited the house. Danish law requires that a person must have independent witnesses when making a will.
The neo-Nazis also were ordered to hand over the house to Craig.
On Tuesday morning, a group of 10 neo-Nazi arrived in a van and began moving furniture out of the house. Some 40 neighbors, many in baths robes and jogging outfit, poured into the street and started applauding and cheering, Larsen told the Associated Press.
The neo-Nazis sang and made the stiff arm salute as they were removing the boards they had put on the windows, Larsen said. They also used a chain saw to knock down the tall, wooden fence which they had erected around the house.
Since February 1999, neighbors, led by Larsen, have been holding daily protests outside the house.
"Tonight will definitely be the last time we will gather to sing songs and hold torches," Larsen said.
The neighbors were considering buying it and turning it into a community house if Craig still is considering selling the house estimated to be worth $119,000.
Denmark's National Socialist Movement openly idolizes Adolf Hitler and uses swastikas in racist and anti-Semitic propaganda material.