WWII Nazi re-enactment group condemned as 'grossly offensive'

WWII re-enactment group who dress up as Nazis are condemned by campaigners as ‘insensitive and grossly offensive

  • Nazi military reenactments condemned for ‘making lightof WWII war crimes
  • Group’s claim to distance itself from far-right politics is dismissed as ‘sick joke
  • Reenactment group argues it promotes ‘authenticityof Second World War
  • Group is based on a WWII Panzer division which fought the Allies
  • A World War Two re-enactment group has been condemned as a ‘sick jokeand ‘grossly offensivefor dressing up as Nazi soldiers as a ‘hobby’.

    Opponents said the group made light of the horrific crimes of Nazi Duitsland during the Second World War and the Holocaust.

    Die 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment, based in the South of England, takes part in reenactments and history events wearing Second World War German army uniforms with swastika insignias.

    The group’s website says the regiment is committed to ‘authenticityand offers members ‘great experiences and camaraderie you will struggle to find in any other hobby.

    Critics condemned the group of 'trvialising' the murder of millions of Jews and other minority groups, including Roma and disabled people, by the Nazis

    Critics condemned the group of ‘trvialisingthe murder of millions of Jews and other minority groups, including Roma and disabled people, by the Nazis

    The regiment don full Nazi military uniform and march in military reenactments under the names of German soldiers

    The regiment don full Nazi military uniform and march in military reenactments under the names of German soldiers

    The reenactment group is based on one of Hitler's most prolific Panzer divisions, which fought against the Allies in the invasions of Poland, France and Russia

    The reenactment group is based on one of Hitler’s most prolific Panzer divisions, which fought against the Allies in the invasions of Poland, France and Russia

    Photos of the group show its members in full Nazi uniform and children handling Nazi weaponry.

    Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, slammed the 304 regiment for glorifying the mass murder of millions of Jews and other minority groups by the Nazi regime.

    Sy het gese: ‘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.

    Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, condemned the group as 'insensitive and grossly offensive'

    Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, condemned the group as ‘insensitive and grossly offensive

    ‘Nazis and their sympathisers were responsible for the murder of six million Jews and millions of other individualssolely 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.

    Die 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment claims to reject racism and far-right politics, and bans its members from doing the Nazi salute or flying the Swastikathe symbol of Hitler’s fascist state.

    The unit said it sought to ‘honour the fallen soldiers of all nations of WWII.

    Egter, Dr Dave Rich, the director of policy at the Community Security Trust, said the military reenactments could not be seperated from the horrific crimes of Nazi Germany.

    Hy het gesê: ‘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.

    Die 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment claim to disavow far-right politics, but opponents argue the reenactments cannot be separated from the Nazis' horrific crimes

    Part of the group's activities include showing Second World War-era weapons to children under the supervision of members

    The group take part in history events and re-enactments it says adds to the ‘authenticity and to the preservation of WW2 history

    ‘For this group to then claim they do not condone any right-wing or racist activity is a sick joke.

    Comments on a recruitment post for the 304 regiment include people saying they ‘had a blastwith the group.

    Een het gesê: ‘Had a great time last year so let’s hope this year is even better.

    Die 304 regiment is based on the Nazi 2nd Panzer Division, formed in 1935 under Hitler’s rearming efforts.

    The division took part in the brutal invasion of Poland which sparked the Second World War after Britain declared war on Germany.

    It is estimated between five and six million Poles were killed during the Second World Waralmost a fifth of the country’s population.

    The 2nd Panzer Division was also involved in the invasion of France and helped to push British forces to the evacuation at Dunkirk.

    The group takes part in various events around the South of England, and is recruiting new members for 'great experiences and camaraderie'

    The group takes part in various events around the South of England, and is recruiting new members for ‘great experiences and camaraderie

    Members are charged £30 to join the reenactment regiment with members buying their own outfits and equipment for joining the group

    Members are charged £30 to join the reenactment regiment with members buying their own outfits and equipment for joining the group

    The armoured unit was part of Operation Barbarossathe Nazi invasion of Russiabefore being sent to Normandy in 1943 to defend against an Allied invasion.

    The division took part in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Rhine as Hitler’s armies tried to stop the Alliesadvance into Europe before Germany was finally defeated.

    Die 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment claims it wants to accurately portray military history ‘with respect, both for the soldiers and for the public who come to see us.

    The unit said on its website: ‘The following guidelines demonstrate that we will not tolerate nor condone any right-wing or racist activity.

    ‘Our duty is to honour the fallen soldiers of all nations of WWII.

    ‘Members of the unit will not, nor ever have been, members of any subversive, fascist or anti-Semitic organisation.

    Die 304 Panzergrenadier Regiment was contacted for comment.

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    Belzec operated from March 1942 until the end of June 1943. It was built specifically as an extermination camp as part of Operation Reinhard

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    Chelmno was the first of Nazi Germany’s camps built specifically for extermination. It operated from December 1941 tot April 1943 and then again from June 1944 tot Januarie 1945

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    MailOnline kyk na ander wat geregtigheid in die gesig gestaar het jare nadat hul misdade plaasgevind het (afgebeeld in 2005) was initially intended for forced labour but was converted into an extermination camp in 1942

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