Wartime Enthusiasts Some Dressed as Nazi Officers Ask Jewish Couple to Wear Star of David
Barbara and Merton Paul, a Jewish couple from Broughton, Salford in the North of England expressed disgust after being asked by organizers of the
East Lancashire Railway’s Wartime Weekend historic re-enactment festival to carry a battered suitcase, look poor and consider wearing a yellow Star of David to play the role of Holocaust victims.
Mr Paul told the Manchester Evening News that an actor asked if he and Mrs Paul would consider dressing up as refugees to “add another dimension to the experience”. “It was an innocent question,” he said, “but of course we wouldn’t want to do that. No Jewish person would.”
The couple, who are both history buffs said that they had been to the 1940’s Wartime Weekend before, and expressed their support for the event as “a good way for people to remember the sacrifice made by the British during the Second World War,” were disturbed by those participants who wore Swastikas and Nazi officer uniforms impersonating some of history’s most anti-Semitic figures.
“We want to celebrate the British involvement in the war as if it hadn’t been for the Allies even more Jews would have been exterminated. But we can’t see why at an event supposed to be about the British experience in wartime, it is necessary for some of these re-enactors to dress up in this way. The SS weren’t on British soil. The only Germans you would have been likely to have seen over here in uniform were prisoners of war,” they said.
Mrs Paul pointed out that members of her family were vctims of the Holocaust, “Some of my great aunts and uncles were murdered in the concentration camps and one of my mother’s cousins was shot in front of her family,” she said.
Andy Morris, the railway’s general manager told the Daily Mail, “We have made a very clear statement to the re-enactors. The swastika itself isn’t banned but what we have done is ask people not to wear the more offensive items such as items related to the SS, the deaths head insignia and the Gestapo.”
“Mr Morris said that the dress code for the event sought to balance offending the community with maintaining the historical accuracy of re-enactment events,” wrote the Mail.