A Langley man who coached minor hockey in North Delta has been fired for posting Nazi propaganda to his Facebook page.
â€œYou canâ€™t be a Nazi and coach kids hockey,â€ said one concerned parent.
The North Delta Minor Hockey Association fired Christopher Maximilian Sandau, 33, from its rep hockey program on Saturday (Nov. 1) after receiving information about â€œdisturbingâ€ public social media posts.
â€œThe posts contained extreme and objectionable material believed to be incompatible with an important purpose of our minor hockey association â€” to promote and encourage good citizenship,â€ Anita Cairney, president of the NDMH, said in a prepared statement.
â€œThe NDMHA requires that our coaches present themselves as positive role models for our children athletes,â€ she added. Cairney said the associationâ€™s board of directors voted to â€œrelieve this coach of all associationâ€ with the NDMHA effective Nov. 1, and that alternate coaching arrangements have been put in place.
She said parents of the children on both teams have been informed of the firing and the boardâ€™s legal counsel has advised them to make no further comment.
Sandauâ€™s Facebook page is largely a shrine to Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Included is a swastika over which Sandau wrote â€œmay god be with us and the truth prevail,â€ another swastika with the message â€œIf this flag offends you you need a history lesson,â€ and a photoshopped image of an astronaut standing on the moon, doing a â€œsieg heilâ€ salute to a Nazi flag.
Thereâ€™s a photo of Hitler, with the message â€œAdolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told,â€ and many other postings of similar subject matter that were still on his Facebook page at deadline Wednesday morning.
The Langley resident had been coaching players Grades 6 to 9.
â€œIt really was my livelihood. Hockey has been my life,â€ he told the Surrey Now after being fired. â€œMy view on the history basically got me canned. A lot of people have no idea about the other side of the story.â€
Sandau said he realizes his views are controversial.
â€œI get it, itâ€™s a really touchy subject,â€ he said.
Still, he doesnâ€™t think it was fair that he was fired.
â€œI wasnâ€™t trying to impose this knowledge on anybody.â€
Sandau said that from the second he arrived at the arena parking lot to leaving it after a hockey practice or game, he never breathed a word about Nazism.
â€œThe whole time I was coaching with these kids and interacting with the kids, my focus was only hockey.â€
Asked if heâ€™s a Nazi, Sandau replied, â€œTo me that is a derogatory term.â€ He said heâ€™s not a skinhead or a member of any political organization. â€œIâ€™m just an individual. Iâ€™m on my own,â€ he said.
He likened his interests to scholarly pursuit. â€œIâ€™m a big history buff.â€
Sandauâ€™s Facebook profile shows him holding a Canadian passport. Asked if he thinks Canada should have a Nazi government, he replied, â€œDo I think Canada should be rolling out with swastikas? Thatâ€™s pretty tough…â€
Sandau said he played professional hockey in Germany and has visited the memorial sites of concentration camps like Dachau. As for the Holocaust, Sandau maintains, â€œThere is no such plan, there was no idea.â€
He claims the prisoners shown in newsreels were bald because of a â€œbrutal lice infestationâ€ and emaciated from disease. â€œThese people died from typhus. The Germans were actually doing their best to save these people.
â€œThese people were not that evil as weâ€™re told.â€
As for his thoughts approaching Remembrance Day, he noted his mother was born in England. â€œIâ€™ve lost people on both sides. I feel for everybody, right.â€
– Tom Zytaruk is a reporter for the Surrey Now.