Britons are responding with outrage at a poster featured by an anti-terrorism campaign on the nation’s trains, slammed as resembling Nazi propaganda against the Jews.
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In the posters, British Transport Police prod commuters to report suspicious behavior. The photograph shows a suiconspicious-looking man with a long nose in the foreground, and a woman behind him. Beneath it a caption reads: “See it. Say it. Sorted. Are they wearing a big coat to hide something?”
Citizens are voicing complaints on social media, and in interviews, the Evening Standard reports. Some have even telephoned British Transport Police asking to have the ads removed.
Susie Symes, chairwoman of the Museum of Immigration and Diversity in East London, said she felt a “frankly horrible shock” at seeing the posters.
“For anybody who is old enough to remember them or who’s studied them of who has ever seen images from the Nazi era, this is the same imagery,” Symes said.
“There’s two things. One is the imagery. The dark, large nosed, threatening stranger. And the contrast with the young white, innocent young woman and the dark skinned bulky man,” she said.
“This is using iconography of the past which contains the connotations of racist tropes and Nazism. It should not be used. Clearly safety and security on public transport is absolutely vital.
“It’s absolutely right we should take care to be careful. What we mustn’t do is use dangerous and damaging imagery.”
Some commuters saw the male figure pictured as similar to a 1937 poster of the Eternal Jew Exhibition produced by the Nazis.
Joseph Willits, 29, from Clapton, in Hackney, told the Standard: “It’s pretty shocking. I know they might not be deliberate but the image is reminiscent of them from Nazi Germany.
“It’s pretty startling. And it’s from a government department, from the police and from Network Rail which makes it even more shocking, particularly when xenophobia is on the rise. It fits in to this sort of insidious narrative and sense of where we are going at the moment.