'Hitler was right' demo shocks British city

Neo-Nazis stage impromptu rally in Newcastle, England, featuring portrait of Hitler with provocative slogan.

Ari Soffer ,

Neo-Nazi (file)
Neo-Nazi (file)

A group of neo-Nazis shocked passersby in Newcastle, northern England, with an impromptu rally featuring a banner with the words "Hitler was right" in front of a picture of the Nazi dictator's face.

Some 20 activists from the far-right "National Action" group staged the Nazi flash mob, mirroring a tactic the extremists have used on several other occasions to gain attention.

The group assembled in front of a World War Two monument in the city center, and proceeded to give Nazi salutes and chant racist slogans, as stunned passersby looked on. They held a large banner with the words "Refugees not welcome, Hitler was right," in an apparent attempt to capitalize on anti-immigrant sentiment triggered by a much-criticized open-door policy elsewhere in Europe.

According to the Jewish News, police who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards allowed it to continue as no laws were broken and it remained largely peaceful. 

However, footage from the event shows one Nazi thug assaulting a busker, who played his saxophone loudly in an apparent attempt to drown the fascists out. A police officer can be seen separating the two, but no arrests were made.

Nazi attacks busker:

British Jewish groups voiced their concern at the incident, and say they are monitoring the situation closely.

"The sight of neo-Nazis openly spreading their hatred in such a public setting would have been distressing and threatening for anybody passing by, especially if they were Jewish or from any other minority," Community Security Trust (CST) spokesman Dave Rich told Jewish News.

"We call on the Police to investigate whether any offences were committed and whether arrests are possible."

Late last year Newcastle was the scene of a 100-man neo-Nazi rally, dubbed the "White Man March," which saw nine people arrested for various offenses including incitement of racial hatred.