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Carrick man hated by Hitler 'would be aghast' at Nazi flags flying in Northern Ireland

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 09/07/2015

Courageous: Sean Lester
Courageous: Sean Lester
The crematorium in the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp showing two of the ovens where victims were cremated is seen in this undated file picture. The bodies were slid into the ovens by means of small wagons which ran on tracks. 60 years ago, on January 27, 1945, Red Army soldiers liberated the Concentration Camp in Auschwitz, Poland.
Reproduction of the divorce certificate issued on October, 1954 in Munich, Germany to fugitive German Nazi criminal Josef Mengele and his wife Irene Schoenheim. In 1958 Mengele married his brother Karl's widow Marta Maria Will in Uruguay. The infamous doctor Josef Mengele, also known as the "Angel of Death", carried out particularly cruel medical experiments on Jew and Gipsy inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp and took part in the selection of thousands of prisoners for their execution in the Nazi gas chambers. He managed to escape from justice at the end of World War II and arrived in Argentina on June 20, 1949 with an International Red Cross-issued passport under the alias "Gregor Helmut". After his 1958 marriage in Uruguay he left for Paraguay and later for Brazil, where he died in freedom in 1979. AFP PHOTO/HO (Photo credit should read HO/AFP/Getty Images)
Reproduction of a part of the death certificate issued on December 26, 1949 in Gunzburg, Germany and legalized in the Uruguayan consulate, of the brother of fugitive German Nazi criminal Josef Mengele, Karl Thaddaus Mengele. The infamous doctor Josef Mengele, also known as the "Angel of Death", carried out particularly cruel medical experiments on Jew and Gipsy inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp and took part in the selection of thousands of prisoners for their execution in the Nazi gas chambers. He managed to escape from justice at the end of World War II and arrived in Argentina on June 20, 1949 with an International Red Cross-issued passport under the alias "Gregor Helmut". After his 1958 marriage in Uruguay he left for Paraguay and later for Brazil, where he died in freedom in 1979. AFP PHOTO/HO (Photo credit should read HO/AFP/Getty Images)
** FILE ** This file picture of 1956 shows the WWII war criminal Josef Mengele. The Israeli agents who kidnapped Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann from Argentina in 1960 knowingly let the notorious death camp doctor Josef Mengele get away, one of the operatives said Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008. Eichmann played a key role in planning the mass murder of Jews during World War II and was hanged in Israel. Mengele was an infamous Nazi doctor at the Auschwitz death camp who carried out horrific medical experiments on prisoners. He was never captured and died in 1979. (AP Photo, file)
** FILE ** This undated file photo supplied by Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld, shows Alois Brunner, once top aide to Adolf Eichmann, who allegedly helped organize the deportation of at least 130,000 Jews from Germany, Austria, France and Greece to the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and has been reported living in Syria is no longer in the Top Ten of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's most-wanted Nazis list as of April 1, 2008, obtained in advance by The Associated Press. ( AP Photo )
This 1944 photo provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shows SS officers, including several SS physicians, sit around a table drinking at Auschwitz, Poland. Among those pictured are Karl Hoecker,far left, Dr. Fritz Klein, left hand side, end of table, Dr. Horst Schumann and Dr. Eduard Wirths on the right side of the bench, third from the front. The photo is one of approximately 116 rare photographs of senior SS officers and Nazi officials at the Auschwitz concentration camp included in Hoecker's photo album, unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. (AP Photo/USHMM) ** ONE TIME USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES **
This 1944 photo provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) shows a group of SS officers gathered in front of a building at Solahutte, the SS retreat outside of Auschwitz, Poland. From left, Josef Kramer, Dr. Josef Mengele, Richard Baer, Karl Hoecker and unidentified. The photo is one of approximately 116 rare photographs of senior SS officers and Nazi officials at the Auschwitz concentration camp included in Hoecker's photo album, unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, by the museum. (AP Photo/USHMM) ** ONE TIME USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES **
This 1944 photo provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shows members of the SS Helferinnen, female auxiliaries, siting on a fence railing in Solahutte, a little known SS resort some 30 km. south of Auschwitz on the Sola River in Poland, as Karl Hoecker passes out bowls of blueberries. The photo is one of approximately 116 rare photographs of senior SS officers and Nazi officials at the Auschwitz concentration camp included in Hoecker's photo album and unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. (AP Photo/USHMM) ** ONE TIME USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES **
This photograph shows a postcard with a satirical scene from Nazi-occupied Warsaw, hand-painted by art student Michal Porulski in 1940, shortly before he was sent to the Auschwitz and Dachau Nazi death camps. The writing reads, "First they will distribute soup then bread." (AP Photo/Warsaw Museum of Caricature)
Preparations For The 70th Anniversary Of The Liberation Of Auschwitz-Birkenau...OSWIECIM, POLAND - NOVEMBER 13: The railway track leading to the infamous 'Death Gate' at the Auschwitz II Birkenau extermination camp on November 13, 2014 in Oswiecim, Poland. Ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by Soviet soldiers are due to take place on January 27, 2015. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz I and nearby Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp where an estimated 1.1 million people, mostly Jews from across Europe, were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labour, disease and medical experiments. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)...I

The granddaughter of an Irish diplomat from Carrickfergus who was a thorn in the side of the Third Reich said he would have been horrified to learn of Nazi flags flying in the town.

Sean Lester (1888-1959) was a grocer's son from Carrickfergus referred to as "the most hated man in Germany" by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

"That is quite an honour," Lester's granddaughter Lucy Kilroy said from Dublin.

"He went a long way for the son of grocer from Carrickfergus to the international stage.

"He was the first international person to come up against the ferocity of the Nazis."

Lester, the last secretary general of the League of Nations, is hailed as a hero akin to Oskar Schindler by many in Poland because of the way he fearlessly opposed the Nazis.

Lester watched the rise of the Nazis in Danzig (now Gdansk) and warned of the looming war. His lone voice irritated the Nazis and he incurred the wrath of Adolf Hitler as they tried to seize power across Europe.

Lucy said her grandfather would have been horrified to learn Nazi flags were flying in Carrickfergus in 2015.

"I think he would have been horrified and very, very sad," Lucy told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The good people of Carrickfergus did take the flags down very quickly and that is something to be appreciated.

"They were brave in doing that."

First Minister Peter Robinson described the flying of Nazi flags as shameful.

"Nazi flags have nothing to do with unionism," he wrote on Twitter yesterday.

"I commend the residents who removed them. Shameful that such flags were ever erected."

An independent councillor for the Carrickfergus area, James Brown, said his late father Charles, a soldier in the Second World War, would have been disgusted at the flag being displayed and described those behind it as an "absolute disgrace".

"He gave service to rid the world of Nazism," Mr Brown said. "To then find that in our community this flag is flying is an absolute disgrace to the memory of those who gave their lives and service.

"Having given, not the supreme sacrifice, but quite a bit of his life, he would be totally offended to have this emblem displayed in Carrick."

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