THE Culture Secretary has responded to calls for Nazi symbols to be removed from an exhibit within the grounds of Edinburgh Castle.

Angus Robertson wrote to Alba general secretary Chris McEleny after he said he had been “disturbed” to see symbols and memorabilia from the Nazi Party on display in the capital’s historic landmark.

McEleny also questioned the decision behind the naming of the “Redcoat Cafe”, which is also within Edinburgh Castle.

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A large swastika is included in a display of “souvenirs” from various battles and wars in the National War Musuem. It was originally part of a plane which was shot down during World War Two.

The display says that the Nazi insignia and a bullet hole would have “added to the symbolic value of this souvenir”.

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Responding to McEleny’s concerns, National Museums Scotland, which has responsibility for the displays, said that the symbols were part of a wider exhibit “reflecting Scottish military participation in the Second World War”.

“It includes material associated with those they fought with and against, including the German Armed Forces in both World Wars,” they added.

In a letter dated August 3, Robertson (below) also addressed the concerns about the Nazi symbols, saying it was important for the “curatorial independence” of the museum service to be maintained.

He went on: “I hope you will agree with me that it is important to understand the context of this exhibition and the reasoning being the curators’ decisions to display such items, which are a reminder of genocide and a period in our history that many would prefer to forget. Such displays are there to educate audiences.

The National: Angus Robertson

“We should not shy away from this as it is of paramount importance for this and the next generations to learn more about this horrific period in human history.”

Robertson also reflected on the statement from National Museums Scotland, saying that the exhibit aimed to “convey a sense of the experience of war as seen through the eyes of Scottish servicemen and women”.

McEleny's comments on the Redcoat Cafe – named after the red-uniformed British troops who fought against the Jacobites in Scotland, against US succession in North America, and were involved in colonisation across the globe – were not addressed.

The National War Museum is free to enter, but Historic Environment Scotland charge for entry to the Edinburgh Castle grounds where it is housed.