Shalom Chaverim,

As some of you might have seen, there has been a recent outbreak of anger with regards to Mt Hutt naming one of their ski slopes and restaurants after Willi Huber, and putting up a plaque to “respect his legacy”. Ok, no problem you might say, Huber was a key figure in the history of Mt Hutt Ski Area. That is true, but he was also deeply embedded in the Nazi killing machine during WW2.

Huber, at the age of 17, volunteered to join the Waffen-SS. He could have joined many of the various units of the Nazi apparatus, but specifically chose the Waffen-SS where he became a decorated officer reaching the rank of Captain.

Huber was also an unrepentant Nazi who in a 2017 interview with New Zealand’s Sunday Programme said, “Hitler was a clever man. He brought Austria out of the dump”. However, we all know what bringing “Austria out of the dump” meant for opponents of Nazism in general and specifically for the Austrian Jewish community. Huber also claimed he knew nothing of the Holocaust until the very end of the war. A highly improbably scenario for a Captain in the Waffen-SS.  

The Waffen-SS were declared a criminal organisation at the Nuremberg Trials due to the war crimes they committed. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre they were responsible for many atrocities and were directly involved with the Holocaust. One local historian with expertise in the Holocaust noted the Waffen-SS were fanatical Nazis trained to not show any mercy. They were a core part of the SS, buying into the anti-Semitic rhetoric and policies. It was part of their identity.

A quarter of all Jews killed in the Holocaust were not killed in concentration camps. They were murdered in fields, in mass graves. Soldiers were taking photos and movies in such numbers that the SS gave a directive ordering them to stop. Mr Huber, as a Captain in the Waffen-SS, would have received that directive.

The very unit Huber served in, the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, was directly responsible for the slaughter of 920 Jews near Minsk in September 1941 and the massacre of 642 French civilians in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in the Limousin region on 10 June 1944 .

It is ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’ that Huber would have directly participated in war crimes and in the Holocaust, and inconceivable that he did not know what was happening, as he claimed, until “the bitter end”. 

It begs belief that the Mt Hutt Ski Area and NZ Ski think it is acceptable to name a ski slope and a restaurant after an unrepentant officer of the SS, as well as have a plaque erected to “respect his legacy”.

There is currently an online petition to get Mt Hutt Ski Area to change their decision. A decision that is wrong in every way. The petition has nearly 5,000 signatures and Mt Hutt and NZ Ski are feeling the pressure. We need to keep this up until they change their decision.

If you have not signed it, please make sure you do. The link to the petition is

Please copy this link and share it with your friends and on social media. We cannot give up on this. No Nazi, especially SS officers, should be honoured, ever!

Rob Berg
President, Zionist Federation of New Zealand