A motorcycle enthusiast has expressed outrage over a bike decorated with Nazi symbols that has been displayed at shows around the country.
Alex Spirling said he was “disgusted” by the faces of Holocaust victims and the entrance to Auschwitz painted on the petrol tank, and a swastika fixed in the centre of the front wheel.
He saw photos of the custom-made machine — called “Genocide” — after a friend alerted him to images on Facebook.
He said: “I was totally stunned. It is disgusting that something like that has been made and is allowed to be on display for entertainment. It is a work of art clearly glamorising the Holocaust.”
The bike is owned by a motorcycle fanatic from Stoke-on-Trent known as Wolfy among the biking fraternity.
Declining to give his surname, he said he had commissioned an artist to decorate it to raise awareness about the Holocaust. He was “horrified” that Jews found it offensive.
“It is meant to show people what a horrid thing the Holocaust was and why it must never happen again,” he said.
“I am not some mad Nazi-lover. I made it so people would talk about it. When I’ve taken it to shows, I’ve displayed information to explain the ideas behind it.
“If anyone said they were offended, I made sure I explained to them that it was not intended to cause offence or sympathise with Hitler.”
The bike, which took two years to customise, won top prize the Welsh International Motor Bike Show in 2011.
A page dedicated to it appears on the website of an owners group called the Wildstar Club. Comments on the site acknowledge it is “controversial” but add that “it depicts scenes of the Holocaust in its outstanding paintwork”.
It also notes it was “much admired by our German brothers at the rally”.
The bike was painted by Worcestershire-based artist Piers Dowell, who said: “I made sure that Wolfy was not a Nazi sympathiser before I did the work. He wanted to highlight that he felt strongly about the Holocaust in a positive way.”
The British Motorcycle Foundation, which runs three “family oriented” bike shows annually across the UK, said it was in the process of deciding whether a ban on such bikes was appropriate.
Chairman Roger Ellis said: “In general, graphics of this nature would not be displayed by our members and as such we do not have any formal policy.
“We now recognise that there may be a possibility of displays of this nature being shown at future BMF events and as such are now looking into the process of writing a formal policy.”
He added that the BMF would consider asking for the removal of a bike if complaints were received.