WWII Reenactment Group Slammed As 'Grossly Offensive' For Dressing Up As Nazis
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A World War II reenactment group who dress in Nazi regalia have been condemned as ‘grossly offensive’ and ‘a sick joke’ by Holocaust memorial groups.
Based in the South of England, The 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment are a ‘Living History’ group of WW2 enthusiasts who take part in historical re-enactments and pride themselves on the ‘authenticity’ of their gear and uniforms.
According to their website, the group claims that they have 'gained a reputation for authenticity and are a true representation of the German Panzergrenadier'.
However, despite repeated claims that they are not a right-wing group and that they do not seek to glorify Nazism, the group has nonetheless been slammed by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for trivialising the horrific crimes committed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
In a statement condemning the group, Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: “We are always greatly disturbed when people make light of the horrific crimes suffered by Jewish people and other minority groups such as Roma and Sinti people during World War II.
“Nazis and their sympathisers were responsible for the murder of six million Jews and millions of other individuals - solely because of their faith, sexuality or disability.
“Any attempt to revisit, distort or trivialise that genocidal history should be condemned.
“It is insensitive and grossly offensive to portray Nazis in a way that demeans the suffering [endured] by their victims.”
The group steadfastly maintains that it rejects racism in all forms and that it simply seeks to 'honour the fallen soldiers of all nations,' and in an extensive policy list on its website claims that its members are banned from doing the Nazi salute or flying flags displaying the Swastika.
Yet despite this, Dr Dave Rich, the director of policy at the Community Security Trust, said the military reenactments could not be separated from the horrific crimes of Nazi Germany.
He said: “It is unfathomable why anybody would want to put on a World War Two German uniform and pretend to be part of an army that committed numerous war crimes and devastated much of Europe.
“It is simply not possible to separate this from the genocide and mass murder committed by Nazi Germany in the lands that the German army conquered for Hitler.
“For this group to then claim they do not condone any right-wing or racist activity is a sick joke.”
The 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment claims that all it wants to do is accurately portray military history 'with respect, both for the soldiers and for the public who come to see us'.
It continued: “Members of the unit will not, nor ever have been, members of any subversive, fascist or anti-Semitic organisation.”
LADbible has contacted the 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment for a comment.
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