Neo-Nazi moved to Israel in ‘Judaism conversion bid’
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Neo-Nazi moved to Israel in ‘Judaism conversion bid’

Adam Thomas, a self-confessed Holocaust denier, who named his baby after Hitler, said he wanted to convert so he could join the Israeli army

National Action members Adam Thomas and his partner Claudia Patatas with their new born baby, named Adolf, posing with a Swastika flag at their home in Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire.. Photo credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire
National Action members Adam Thomas and his partner Claudia Patatas with their new born baby, named Adolf, posing with a Swastika flag at their home in Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire.. Photo credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire

A convicted neo-Nazi terrorist who named his baby after Hitler claimed to have lived in Israel for nearly two years in a bid to convert to Judaism.

Adam Thomas, 22, was found guilty of being a member of extreme right-wing group National Action, which was banned in 2016.

He was convicted alongside his partner, Claudia Patatas, 38, at Birmingham Crown Court following a six-week trial.

During evidence in his defence, given from the witness box, Thomas – a self-confessed Holocaust denier and racist – said he moved to Israel when he was 18.

He added that he was motivated to look at converting because it would have allowed him to join the Israeli military.

But Thomas, of Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire, who told the jury he lived in kibbutzes and at a college while in Israel, said he “just lost interest” and returned home in August 2016.

He met Ms Patatas – who jurors heard told a chat group “bring back concentration camps” – in a pub in December that year, and had a baby with her at the end of 2017.

Thomas had told police in interview that he was a Holocaust denier, and under cross-examination before the trial jury said the issue was “complicated”.

On the first day of his evidence, barrister Paul Wakerley asked Thomas: “At some stage, aged 17, you decided you would convert to Judaism?”

Thomas replied: “I finished college and, just after turning 18, I moved to Israel, and lived there just under two years.

“I lived with very different people, I stayed on a farm, and a kibbutz.”

Asked if he mixed with Jewish people, he replied: “I did, the population is Jewish and I was interested in converting to Judaism at that stage.”

The former Amazon warehouse security guard added that he had done “security” work while over there, as part of an interest in joining the military.

He said: “If you do convert to Judaism, it comes with a passport and that allows you to join the Israeli military.”

Asked why his plans changed, he added: “I just lost my interest in that and couldn’t see what I was chasing. I stopped being able to see what was out there for me.”

On returning to the UK, he got talking to Ms Patatas – who was then going through a relationship break-up – through the Telegram messenger app, along with other National Action members.

“We were having our own private discussions, one to one,” he added. “We felt like we could talk for hours.”

He said there were “not many people who have similar interests and similar topics to talk about”, adding: “She was one of those people.”

The couple first met at in a pub on Boxing Day 2016, in a group meeting also attended by one of the co-founders of National Action, Ben Raymond.

However, Thomas, formerly of Kingsbury Road, Birmingham, said their relationship was by then “getting romantic”, claiming other people at the gathering teased the couple to “get a room”.

Thomas moved to Patatas’s home in Banbury four months later, and the couple had a child in November 2017.

In court, Thomas said they had given the child the middle name Adolf in part because of their “admiration” for Hitler.

Photographs taken at the Banbury home by counter-terrorism officers following their arrest in January 2018, revealed that Nazi and Ku Klux Klan symbols were very much part of the domestic set up.

There was a KKK flag hanging in the lounge, scatter cushions emblazoned with the Nazi party symbol, and a pastry cutter in a kitchen drawer shaped like a swastika.

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