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WWII re-enacment scrapped for fear of causing offence

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WWII re-enacment scrapped for fear of causing offence

Post Neon Knight on Thu 31 May - 19:14

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5581617/Anger-villages-annual-Second-World-War-enactment-scrapped.html
Quoting:

A village's annual war-time re-enactment has been scrapped because organisers fear it will cause offence. The event has run for 25 years in the village of Levisham as part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway's event called Railway in Wartime, which pulls in tourists in their thousands. Traditionally Levisham is transformed into 'Le Visham', a German-occupied French village, featuring actors wearing Nazi uniforms. Past years have seen actors dressed as German soldiers patrolling the platform at Levisham station outside the Cafe du Bois. But this year the railway's operators have pulled that part of the event out of its schedule citing the Equalities Act and the need to consider 'diversity and possible offence.'



The annual three-day event traditionally sees each station on the line transformed to create a variety of scenarios and performances. These include a wartime street in Pickering, Home Guard demonstrations at Goathland and an RAF-themed event in Grosmont with a replica Spitfire. One re-enactor, who asked not to be named, said their role was to bring history to life for the public and to help educate people, particularly children.

He said: 'It's like going into a museum, but this is a living museum. We are historical educators of the public. We put our heart and soul into it and we're all so disappointed.' Another re-enactor, Neil Robertson, said: 'Both the re-enactment community and the station volunteers are saddened by the board's decision, but we respect it. We would like to thank the thousands of people we have entertained and hopefully educated over the years and hope people continue to support the show and contribute to its continued success . . .

History enthusiast Lee Hayward, 44, a past visitor to the event, said: 'This is a disgrace. I have some photos of the 'German occupied' Levisham a few years back. My kids were fascinated and educated. It was tastefully done with dedicated, forward-thinking people taking part. To be asked for my papers, in German, when I got off the train was a real palpable shock. The German soldier shouted it at us. It immediately transported myself and whole family into what it must have been like living on occupied France and made us grateful of the sacrifice made for the freedoms we currently have. You can't expunge history.' . . .



The inclusion of Nazi costumes in wartime reenactments has proved controversial over the years in the UK. The Public Order Act 1936 prohibits the wearing of political uniforms in public places or meetings and was passed to combat extremist movements, most notably Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. The act was most recently used against Britain First leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen in 2015 and 2016, due to the far-right group's tendency to dress in green jackets and black flat caps.

But the wearing of Nazi uniforms as part of wartime reenactments is legal in the UK and tends to be a matter for those managing the events to judge. In 2011 Nazi uniforms were banned from a World War II railway event in Bury, Greater Manchester, with East Lancashire Railway bosses citing Prestwich's prevalent Jewish community as a reason for the banning of swastikas and other insignia.

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Re: WWII re-enacment scrapped for fear of causing offence

Post Neon Knight on Sun 3 Jun - 16:36

Here is an interesting question:

Why are people more sensitive to Nazi images now than they were in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even the 90s?

You would expect that the further away in time we move from the war, the less people would care about such things. This is a British toy accessory which came out in the mid 1970s: http://www.actionmanhq.co.uk/action-man-equipment/escape-from-colditz/index.html





It's obviously excellent stuff for a young boy to play with, but would they make and market that now? "Oh God, a swastika on the box!"

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Between the velvet lies, there's a truth that's hard as steel
The vision never dies, life's a never ending wheel
- R.J.Dio
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