June 02, 2007

Pledge is broken as 'Nazis' march again

War nostalgia enthusiasts have broken their promise never to dress again as Nazi officers . . . for a SECOND time

And their outrageous antics have drawn strong criticism from Holocaust survivors and Jewish community leaders.

The annual War Weekend took place last weekend at restored railway stations in Bury and Ramsbottom. But participants broke a pledge once more, strutting about in German uniforms at the war re-enactment events.

However, the chairman of the East Lancashire Light Railway, Peter Duncan, who organised the event, said they banned anybody from dressing up as SS officers. He told the Jewish Telegraph: "I honestly don't believe that Holocaust survivors could be offended by the sight of a swastika. We banned guests from wearing SS uniforms, but not German uniforms. If you're going to have someone wearing a German uniform from the Second World War, then it is going to have a swastika insignia."

Councillors Michelle Wiseman and Peter Redstone told the Jewish Telegraph they were assured by the organisers that SS and Gestapo uniforms would be banned.

Pilkington Park representative Mr Redstone said: "It is disappointing that people have once again decided to wear Nazi uniforms. I'm sure that they'll bring back horrific memories for Holocaust survivors."

Holocaust survivor Meyer Hersh, of Whitefield, said any right-minded person would find the uniforms offensive.

Polish-born Mr Hersh, who spent 18 months in Auschwitz, fumed: "Swastikas are symbols of hatred and German uniforms should be banned from this event totally. The very sight of them can bring back the most horrific memories for survivors and it seems to me that they are glorifying the Germans."

But the railway's marketing director Graham Vevers said that they made it perfectly clear it would not be acceptable for guests to dress up in SS uniforms.

"However, we did notice that some people were wearing certain German uniforms and we asked them not to wear them again," he added.

Jewish Telegraph

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a shame this kind of thing still goes on...