The co-founder of a banned fascist group who was photographed doing a Nazi salute in a concentration camp execution chamber has told a court he does not believe the Holocaust occurred.
Alex Davies, 27, is on trial accused of being a member of the proscribed organisation National Action (NA) after it was banned on December 16 2016.
Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, has told the trial at Winchester Crown Court that the UK Government banned the group after it had “terrorised” towns across the country with its call for an “all-out race war”.
Following the ban, Davies set up “continuity” group NS131, which stood for National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action and which was also banned by the Government, Mr Jameson said.
The court has heard that Davies was photographed in May 2016 giving a Nazi salute and carrying an NA flag in the execution chamber at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, where 56,000 Jews were murdered in the Second World War.
Davies said he felt “badly” about the photograph which also featured fellow NA member Mark Jones, and added: “I am not sure that it was a good thing to do, that it was the right thing to do.”
He said he was a Nazi follower but did not believe Hitler’s regime carried out the Holocaust, although it had committed “crimes against Jews”. He added: “No regime is perfect.”
He said: “I do not believe there was a systematic extermination of Jews. I can’t be a national socialist if the Holocaust occurred, I cannot support an ideology that supports genocide.
“I have the same moral compass as anyone else, I believe murder is wrong and I cannot support something that engaged in systematic genocide of people because they are Jewish.”
Davies admitted he was photographed in York a month after the Germany visit, carrying a banner saying “Hitler was right”.
He said: “Hitler was right about many things. As a national socialist I believe his principles, generally speaking, are in accord with my own.”
He accepted that “some people” would interpret this as referring to the Holocaust.
The court heard that a sticker saying “National Action Final Solution” was featured on the NS131 website.
The jury has also been shown a poster based on the Reservoir Dogs movie, showing NA members with nicknames.
Mr Jameson told the court that Davies was called The Founder on the poster, with other members named Gasser Darren and Zyklon Ben, referring to the Holocaust.
Davies said he did not use the term “final solution” to refer to the Holocaust and added: “I believe it means a political solution, a national solution that would fix many problems in the country.”
He has said the aim of NA was to “bring young people into nationalism” and to create a “nationalist Britain which would be a white Britain”.
But he has told the court that NS131 was not set up as a continuation of NA and had different aims and processes.
Davies, from Swansea, denies membership of a proscribed organisation between December 17 2016 and September 27 2017.
The trial continues.