The National Trust has asked for an “urgent explanation” after a military re-enactment event featuring Second World War German uniforms and Nazi memorabilia was hosted on its land.
A complaint was made by a visitor to the living history event on land belonging to the trust close to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.
Around 8,000 people attended the Lacock at War event, which features re-enactments, people in authentic military dress, demonstrations and traders selling Second World War memorabilia.
But one guest said she was horrified to see Nazi memorabilia being sold and an original Star of David arm patch that Jews were made to wear.
She told The Sun she cried when she saw people in German military uniforms from the Second World War.
She added: “It was fascist fetishism. People were posing with these ‘soldiers’.”
The land is leased by the National Trust to the local parish council, but the trust said it had still requested an explanation from the event’s organisers.
A spokesman for the National Trust said: “The event was organised by the traders selling Second World War memorabilia. (MVT) and included uniforms and materials, which understandably caused distress and led to a complaint.
“We will make it very clear to the MVT that these displays were insensitive, unacceptable and should not be repeated. The event took place on the village playing field, which we lease to Lacock Parish Council. The Trust has no direct involvement in the event itself.”
But John Wardle, secretary of the West Wiltshire Military Vehicle Trust, vehemently denied that anyone had been dressed in Nazi uniforms, and that only German soldiers were depicted.
He told the Press Association: “One of the traders was selling Nazi memorabilia. There’s nothing illegal about selling Nazi memorabilia.
“There were no Nazis at the event – there were people dressed in German uniforms but they weren’t Nazis.”
He added that no members of the military in Nazi Germany were allowed to be affiliated to a political party, and that no one wearing a Nazi or SS uniform is allowed to attend the organisation’s events.
Mr Wardle said the event was now in its seventh year and that they had never had complaints in the past.
He added that the person making the complaint was American, and said he knew it was illegal to sell Nazi memorabilia in the US.