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British neo-Nazis perform Hitler salute at Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany

The photograph was taken in a room where the SS hung 1,100 men, women and children

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 26 May 2016 13:58 BST
National Action shared a photo of supporters performing Hitler salutes at a Nazi concentration camp
National Action shared a photo of supporters performing Hitler salutes at a Nazi concentration camp

A group of British neo-Nazis have posed performing Hitler salutes in the “execution room” of a concentration camp in Germany.

Police are investigating the picture, which was posted on Twitter by the north-west branch of National Action with the caption: “Oy Vey, such horrors. Dem bois were recently on tour in Germania.”

The image showed two men raising their right arms in a Nazi salute and holding the group's flag, while writing on the photo pointed to “meat hooks” on the wall, with a smiley face and National Action's logo.

The group claimed it was taken this year at Buchenwald, which was one of the first and largest concentration camps founded by the Nazis on German soil.

Survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, liberated by the American troops of the 80th Division in 1945 (Getty Images)

More than 56,000 prisoners died in mass killings, starvation and inhuman experiments at the camp, which was used for groups including political prisoners, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Jews, the ill and disabled, and prisoners of war.

Much of Buchenwald, near Weimar, has been destroyed but the remains are used as a museum and memorial visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Local authorities believe the National Action photo was taken during public opening hours, in the basement where victims' bodies were collected before cremation.

SS officers also used the hooks on the wall to hang more than 1,100 men, women and children, Bild reported.

Dr Volkhard Knigge, the director of the memorial, told the newspaper National Action's photo was an insult to the Buchenwald's 280,000 inmates, including British servicemen.

"Like other locations of Nazi crimes, the crematorium in the Buchenwald memorial is carefully supervised," he added.

"The likelihood of being caught in the act of the actions depicted in the photo is particularly high.

"It is therefore assumed that the perpetrators did not act spontaneously, but had planned in advance and were well-prepared."

Police in Weimar said they take such events "very seriously" and were trying to identify the suspects, whose faces are blurred in the photo.

It is among a host of anti-Semitic social media posts by National Action, which was founded in 2013 and describes itself as a "National Socialist youth organisation".

Supporters have marched in Newcastle with banners reading "Hitler was right" and the phrase is frequently repeated on the group's Twitter accounts along with the slogan "Britain is ours, the rest must go".

It has used the platform to call for a ”white jihad“ and ”crusade“ in Britain, as well as urging followers to "kick racism back into football" and go "paedophile hunting".

At a protest in Rochester last month, a National Action member used a megaphone to claim that "illegal aliens" were being brought to the UK by "Jewish supremacists" and that the refugee crisis was part of an international Marxist conspiracy.

"These people come here from North Africa, they come here from the Middle East in this Marxist revolution," he said.

"Its entire purpose is our annihilation and the creation of a coffee-coloured people who will take over."

The group was named as the "most organisationally sophisticated neo-Nazi group" in the UK, in Hope Not Hate's 2016 report and several of its supporters have been arrested, including a member jailed in 2014 for sending an anti-Semetic tweet to an MP.

Greater Manchester Police has not yet responded to The Independent's request for a comment.

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