New Delhi: A woman who took part in a ‘Miss Hitler’ pageant and her ex-partner have been convicted for their membership of the far-Right terrorist group National Action in the United Kingdom.
Alice Cutter, 23, and her ex-partner Mark Jones, 25, were found guilty of being associated with the neo-Nazi organisation after a retrial at Birmingham Crown Court.
The Miss Hitler pageant was held in 2014 on a website called VKontakte. The competition encouraged women who enjoyed taking ‘selfies’ and had anti-Semitic beliefs to apply for this Nazi-themed beauty pageant.
What is National Action?
National Action was established in 2013 and has many branches across the UK. In an entry describing proscribed groups, National Action is called a “racist neo-Nazi group”, which “conducts provocative street demonstrations and stunts aimed at intimidating local communities.”
Over 22 suspected members of the group were arrested in 2016.
National Action was the first Right-wing group banned under terrorism laws by the UK’s then-home secretary Amber Rudd in December 2016. Rudd had said: “Today, I am taking action to proscribe the neo-Nazi group National Action. This will mean that being a member of, or inviting support for, this organisation will be a criminal offence.
Rudd called the group, “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic”.
Previously, National Action had held demonstrations in UK cities with banners that said “Hitler was right”. Moreover, some speakers were recorded telling supporters about “the disease of international Jewry” and “when the time comes, they’ll be in the chambers”.
Cutter and Jones’ roles in it
During their trial, the prosecutors described Alice Cutter as a “central spoke” in the organisation, while Mark Jones was described as a “leader and strategist”.
The jurors were told that Cutter exchanged over hundreds of messages which were racist and anti-Semitic, and that she continued to meet members of the National Action months after the ban.
Cutter claimed that she didn’t consider herself a member of the group, despite being a part of meetings with group leaders. She claimed she had been pestered to enter the Miss Hitler pageant under the name of ‘Miss Buchenwald’. Buchenwald was one of the largest Nazi concentration camps in Germany, where over 43,000 people were killed. She also posed for a Nazi salute at the Leeds Town Hall in 2016.
Employed as a waitress, Cutter was found with a picture of Holocaust victim Anne Frank on her phone. The picture carried a revolting caption: “What’s that smell — oh it’s my family burning.”
Miss Hitler pageant
In 2014, female neo-Nazis who enjoy taking ‘selfies’ were encouraged to apply for a ‘Nazi-themed beauty pageant’ on a website called VKontakte.
This one-time beauty pageant witnessed the participation of many Russian women with anti-Semitic ideologies.
The women were asked to post a Nazi-themed selfie. Additionally, the photo had to be captioned with an answer to why they “love and revere the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler”.
The pageant announced that the woman with most likes on her photo would be declared the winner.
Officially, the pageant was titled ‘Miss Ostland’, named after the territory of Ostland occupied by Nazis in eastern Europe, which witnessed the killings of millions of Jews.
In one of the applications, a contestant wearing a Nazi hat said she “adores” Hitler because he could “experiment on people”.