Lancashire

Self-proclaimed Nazi's anti-Semitic remarks 'were rhetoric'

Preston Crown Court Image copyright Ian Taylor/Geograph
Image caption The man told the jury he referred to Jews in general to sound "more radical and more extreme"

A self-proclaimed Nazi has admitted making anti-Semitic remarks but told a jury he was trying to encourage "political debate".

The man, who cannot be named, denies two counts of stirring up racial hatred in speeches to far-right activists.

The 22-year-old told Preston Crown Court he was "a national socialist" but said he only wanted others "to hate specific members of the Jewish race".

He said he had been trying to make "mainstream politics more right-wing."

Under cross examination by prosecutor Matthew Brook, the Lancashire man denied hating all Jews, adding: "I hate certain individuals within the Jewish race."

'Poor choice of words'

He said his speeches referred to Jews in general for the purpose of "rhetoric" and doing so sounded "more radical and more extreme".

When asked if he is a Nazi, he replied: "That's correct, I am a national socialist."

The man - who said he believed the holocaust did not happen - told jurors Britain should have fought with Adolf Hitler during World War Two in order "to free Europe from Jews, but not to kill Jews".

He said a comment he made about Hitler showing "mercy" to Jews was valid, as they had been "allowed to be high up in Nazi society" and still "had power".

Asked about his comment that Jews should be "eradicated", he said that, "in hindsight, it was a poor choice of words" and he had meant Jews should be removed from Britain.

The man denied encouraging people to hate Jews and said he had been "encouraging them to be aware of the danger that Jews present".

"Sharks can present a danger to humans but that doesn't mean you should hate sharks," he added.

The trial continues.

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