Major British-Jewish Group Defends Buckingham Palace Over Footage of Queen’s Nazi Salute
The President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Jonathan Arkush rejected criticism of the Queen after local tabloid The Sun revealed a 14-second clip showing a 7-year-old Elizabeth making the Roman salute, apparently in reference to the rising Nazi powers in Germany.
“I don’t think any criticism of a seven-year-old child would be remotely appropriate and I don’t intend to make any,” said Arkush during a meeting of the Board on Sunday, in response to the backlash over the grainy 1933 clip showing Elizabeth making the salute alongside the Queen Mother, her sister Princess Margaret and her uncle the Prince of Wales.
“It’s really important for us not to judge this event with hindsight. Obviously the Nazi salute now carries horrible memories and bitterness for us, but I do not think for one moment that it would be appropriate for me to suggest that the full horror of Nazi Germany was known at that point,” said Arkush, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
The board of deputies president also noted Queen Elizabeth’s recent visit to Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany, her first official visit to a former concentration camp, as well as her visits to Holocaust survivors “on many occasions.”
Buckingham Palace has defended the footage, saying the children were merely playing and that at the time, nobody knew how the situation in Europe would develop. Some have noted that the salute was often raised by Brits in the 1930s as a mockery of the rising fascist powers in Germany.