Are Nazi Sympathizers Buying Land in Nova Scotia?

Something strange is happening on Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island.
James Nicholson/Creative Commons

Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia is known for its scenic landscapes, picturesque waterfront and its role in the creative development of composer Philip Glass. But a new article in the National Post suggests that Cape Breton might soon become known for something much less appealing. More specifically, the island might be getting an influx of German Nazi sympathizers — not exactly the new neighbors anyone was hoping for.

The National Post article builds on work done by the German publication Der Spiegel. The account that they relate is alarming, involving “hundreds of Germans” buying land on Cape Breton Island as part of a project led by a number of far-right figures. Though just how that all comes together has sparked some controversy:

The report says far-right populist Germans Eva Herman and Andreas Popp, as well as Frank Eckhardt, a local real estate professional, are leading the charge. Herman and Popp, however, have denied being connected to Eckhardt, who Der Spiegel says is a Holocaust denier.

The article in Der Spiegel describes Eckhardt as being involved in the Reichsbuerger movement. That’s a radical group within Germany which argues that the modern German state is not legitimate. As one might expect, adherents to this ideology generally support other far-right beliefs as well.

Herman and Popp currently reside in Cape Breton, where they regularly hold seminars. According to reporting from The Cape Breton Post, Popp and Eckhardt worked together in the past but were no longer affiliated. The Halifax Examiner also received communication from Herman and Popp to the extent that they were opposed to Holocaust denial. The controversy continues — and the truth about what’s going on in Cape Breton Island remains unclear.

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