Nazis invade Haworth - and are banned by the teashops: Visitors to annual D-Day commemoration wearing 'insensitive and offensive' uniforms are turned away
- Visitors to the Haworth's annual event in Yorkshire left shocked and appalled
- The men turned up sporting swastikas, the Iron Cross and the emblem of the SS
- Organisers said event meant to commemorate the heroics of those involved in WWII
- Shop-keepers even put out signs saying visitors dressed as Nazis were not allowed
- But that didn't stop the group of Nazi costume-wearing men from turning up
They would have been a deeply unwelcome sight in 1944 – and 70 years on, nothing has changed.
Visitors who turned up to a D-Day commemoration wearing Nazi uniform were banned from shops and accused of being insensitive and offensive.
Some 25,000 people – many in period costume – flock to Haworth every year for the West Yorkshire town’s 1940s Home Front festival which highlights the heroics of those involved in the Second World War.
But two years ago a handful of visitors in Nazi uniforms tried to hijack the two-day event, upsetting a number of people including a group of German visitors to the town which is a tourist hotspot because of its links with the Bronte family.
Organisers decided to take action but were powerless to ban offensive clothing, so teashops, pubs and stores put up No Nazi notices and refused to serve anyone in SS uniform.
Not welcome: An attendee dressed in a Nazi uniform at Haworth's 1940s Weekend, an annual World War II-themed event, at Haworth, Yorkshire
Not encouraged: Attendees dressed in Nazi uniforms at Haworth's 1940s Weekend
King of the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association armed
forces charity said visitors had been encouraged not to wear such
uniforms at the event.
He said: 'We can't actually ban people from wearing these outfits but it's something we always discourage. Many
people lost their lives in the Second World War and the last thing we'd
want is for those people to be mocked or disrespected in any way.
'A lot of the shops in the village put up signs saying they won't serve anyone wearing Nazi or SS uniforms.
'We also seek guidance from the police to make sure it is discouraged but unfortunately it isn't something we have control over.
'We just urge people not to do it but unfortunately some people feel the need to wear such costumes.'
Signs at several shops and pubs in the village warned ‘No Nazi or SS uniforms or insignia allowed on these premises'.
Some visitors to the village, near Bradford, were seen wearing garments from SS uniforms - the Third Reich paramilitary organisation responsible for many of the atrocities against humanity in the Second World War.
Mike Reid (left) wears a replica Nazi uniform to that of German General Sepp Dietrich, who was in charge of the Panzer division
Tens of thousands of visitors descended on Haworth, West Yorkshire as part of 1940s weekend but many were left disgusted as they were greeted by the few in Nazi outfits
Chocks away, chaps: Men in RAF fancy dress at the Haworth 1940s weekend festival
The scene was quintessentially British: Union Flag bunting, men and women dressed in 1940s gear and the sound of Vera Lynn ringing in the air
Two women in 1940s dress with pints of lager, at the Haworth 1940s weekend festival
One the unwanted was Mike Reid, who wore a replica of German General Sepp Dietrich's Nazi uniform, who was in charge of the Panzer division.
owner Jill Ross revealed she put up a sign warning people not to enter
in Nazi or SS costumes as many visitors were left offended at a previous
She said: 'A couple of years ago we had people in SS and Nazi uniforms in the cafe and a lot of people were upset.
'We put the sign up as have many others in the streets around here asking for people to refrain from wearing these outfits.'
Another visitor, who asked not to be named, said: 'It's incredibly insensitive.
Keep calm: Signs were put up around the village saying Nazi uniforms were not allowed
Stephen King of the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association armed forces charity said visitors had been encouraged not to wear such uniforms at the event
The Second World War weekend event is held annually in Haworth, West Yorkshire
Two visitors dressed in 1950s period costume, the man on the right in an RAF uniform
Two soldiers in full Second World War uniform. The man on the right dressed as a U.S. soldier
Organisers admitted there is no law against wearing the uniforms, meaning it is ¿impossible' to impose an outright ban on the costumes
'There are people here today that were alive during the War and don't want to remember such things.
'It's highly offensive.'
event attracts around 25,000 to 30,000 guests each year, with this
year's festival commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day
admitted there is no law against wearing the uniforms, meaning it is
‘impossible' to impose an outright ban on the costumes.
They are hoping to raise more than £25,000 at the two-day event, with proceeds going towards the armed forces charity.
Haworth revellers dressed as a British Navy sailor (left) and a member of the U.S. Airborne Division (right)
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