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June 21, 2023 4:59 pm

Wyoming County Renames ‘Swastika Lake’


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Robert Kraft and American rapper Meek Mill attend the 35th anniversary of International March of the Living” at the former Nazi-German Auschwitz Birkenau concentration and extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on April 18, 2023. Photo: Beata Zawrzel/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

A historical society in Wyoming is renaming a lake to address concerns that its old name is suggestive of Nazism.

“Swastika Lake” in Albany County will now be known as Knight Lake, a name chosen to commemorate the memory of Samuel H. Knight, a former resident and University of Wyoming geology professor, according to The Casper Star Tribune, a local newspaper.

The paper reported on Wednesday that a proposal to change the name received the backing of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“While we appreciate the history and original meaning of  the swastika symbol, it has unfortunately become synonymous with one of the greatest atrocities in human history after being appropriated by the German Nazi Party in 1920,” Kraft wrote to county officials, speaking on behalf Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS), a nonprofit he founded to educate the public about antisemitism.

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“We believe there are many more efficient ways to educate the public around the history and origin of the word such as Holocaust education in schools and educational resources, with the help of reputable organizations that can be made easily accessible to anyone who is interested in learning more,” he added.

In March, FCAS launched a $25 million multimedia campaign to raise awareness of antisemitism.

Most recently, the organization put up billboards on the Las Vegas Strip in response to an incident in which a swastika was scratched into the skin of a 17-year-old nonverbal, autistic student.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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