For the second time in a month, police have arrested Frank Eckhardt, a controversial land seller and survivalist who advertises his advisory services to the German-speaking “new settlers” of Cape Breton, and who has been featured in several articles German and Canadian press in the past two years because of his far-right views and alleged scams from German clients.
Eckhardt, 56, was first arrest Dec. 10 on extortion charges, and an RCMP press release today says he was re-arrested on Dec. 23, and this time charged with a long list of gun-related offenses. They are:
Careless Transport of Firearm (3 counts), Careless Storage of Firearm (4 counts), Illegal Possession of Firearm (2 counts), Possession of Firearm knowing that possession is illegal (2 counts) and Possession of a weapon obtained in the commission of an offense (2 counts).
According to the media release, on December 20, police received a report of shots fired near a residence on West Bay Road in Cape George, north of St. Peters.
This led to an investigation by the Inverness and Richmond RCMP Street Crime Unit, and three days later Eckhardt was arrested during a vehicle stop on Highway 4 .
After the vehicle was stopped, police raided Eckhardt’s residence on Smith Road in Grand River, during which they “seized firearms, including handguns, ammunition, gunpowder. cannon and money ”.
Eckhardt, who operates what he calls an “eco-village” on Smith Road about 20 kilometers east of St. Peters, has participated in German online interviews promoting his prepper lifestyle and of its real estate development in Canada.
In an online show hosted by Luis Pazos in April 2020, Eckhardt says his “arms dealer” in Canada – the person he buys his hunting guns from – is a Czech.
The Halifax Examiner has spoken here and here of Eckhardt, whom the eminent German weekly Der Spiegel describes as an adherent of the Reichsbuerger. [Reich Citizens’] Movement, which rejects the modern German state and government that has developed since the fall of Nazi Germany. Der Spiegel also alleged that Eckhardt was sending emails denying the Holocaust and promoting Nazi ideology
After negative media coverage of Eckhardt’s political views and business relations in 2020, his property signs were vandalized and his St. Peters office window smashed.
Eckhardt then sent belligerent emails to CBC’s Tom Ayers and the Halifax Examiner, asking if he should send them the damage bill.
In his email, he compared the vandalism of his property to the “Crystal Night” of August 28 in Saint-Pierre. Kristallnacht – the “night of shattered glass” – is the name given to the first in a series of pogroms against the Jewish population in Germany that began on the night of November 9-10, 1938, when the Nazis killed nearly 100 Jews, vandalizing and destroying their homes, businesses and synagogues, and subsequently arrested 30,000 Jewish men who were sent to concentration camps.
The examiner emailed Eckhardt for comment on his recent arrests, but has yet to receive a response.
Today’s RCMP statement indicates that the “investigation” of Eckhardt “is ongoing” and will continue to be led by the Inverness / Richmond RCMP Street Crime Unit, with assistance from the Richmond County District RCMP.
As with his first arrest, Eckhardt has been released on conditions and will appear in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court on February 9, 2022 on weapons charges and February 28 on extortion charges.
Strong reaction from the German-speaking community of Nova Scotia
Several people from the German-speaking community of Nova Scotia contacted the Halifax Examiner after learning that Eckhardt had been arrested a second time.
Without exception, they all said they believed Eckhardt, who they believed to be a permanent resident but not a Canadian citizen, should not be allowed to stay in Canada.
Two members of the German-speaking community who interacted with Eckhardt and asked to remain anonymous because they are afraid of him, described him as a “psychopath”.
One of them expressed fears of having even more guns on his Smith Road property.
“We don’t want this Nazi shit here in Cape Breton,” the person said. “We want to live here in peace and without fear. He’s threatening people here.
The same person said the Examiner could ask hundreds of people in Nova Scotia with their roots in German-speaking European countries – Austria, Germany and Switzerland – their reaction, and everyone would agree that Eckhardt has greatly damaged their reputation.
“I am deeply concerned that someone like this Hitler-worshiping Reichsbuerger has these guns,” said another. “After Portapique, how can a psychopath get a gun license?”
The examiner could not confirm whether Eckhardt had a firearms license.
“If he wants to be a German neo-Nazi, he should go back to Germany where it is illegal to promote this ideology, and not spoil Cape Breton’s reputation for tourism and business,” the person added.
The reviewer will update this story as more information becomes available.
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