An organization aimed at protecting the U.K. Jewish community from anti-Semitism has spoken out against a new clothing store opened in London by a brand associated with Neo-Nazis, the local Times reported.
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Thor Steinar, a popular label among German neo-Nazis, opened its new store - called Viking Thor Shop - in Ballards Lane last month. The new location is only meters from the office of the U.K.’s Chief Rabbi.
The organization, Community Security Trust (CST), has already received a number of complaints about the new North Finchley store.
Speaking to the Times Series, Mark Gardner, director of communications for CST, said: “CST has taken a number of enquiries from concerned members of the public. Obviously we share those concerns.
“We do not want or need this shop in the middle of a happy and peaceful, multicultural North London neighbourhood.
“We hope that it moves on as quickly as possible.”
Owner Zsolt Mogyorodi previously denied that he was racist and said he had opened the store to serve a local eastern European community with whom the brand is popular. “We welcome all kinds of customers in the shop," he said. "The Nazi thing is a silly old story from years ago and the brand has changed since then.”
A troubled history
The Thor Steinar brand, which is closely associated with far-right street groups and football hooligans, has faced bans in the German Bundestag and in several football stadiums across Germany.
Eight members of the far-right German National Democratic Party were expelled from Saxony’s state parliament in 2012 for wearing the brand’s T-shirts, which display themes popular with neo-Nazis.
After being banned in Germany in 2004, the company rebranded its original logo, which was similar to symbols worn by the Nazi SS. A new German store opened in 2012 was named Brevik, which critics maintained was in honor of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, an ultra-rightist. The store later changed its name.
Launched in 2002, Thor Steinar was sold to a Dubai-based company in 2009. Its clothes are banned from the Bundestag, the state parliaments of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony as well as the football stadiums of Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen.