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Neo-Nazi Who Named Baby After Hitler Tried To Convert To Judaism

A British neo-Nazi who named his baby after Adolf Hitler — but who had attempted to convert to Judaism before fully turning toward hate — has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for being a member of an illegal hate group, The Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday.

Adam Thomas and his wife Claudia Patatas were among six people sentenced Tuesday for their association with the extreme right-wing organization National Action, which was banned in 2016. They were convicted in November.

The couple had given their baby boy the middle name Adolf out of “admiration for the Nazi leader,” Thomas told the jury during the seven-week trial. Photos show their home was decorated with swastikas and Ku Klux Klan imagery.

Thomas once spent months in Israel, trying to convert to Judaism, the Chronicle found. He attended a yeshiva in Jerusalem but was later turned away.

A spokesman for the Machon Meir yeshiva confirmed to the Chronicle that Thomas tried to study in its conversion program. He was registered under the name “Avi Thomas,” but classmates said he went by “Avi Ben Avraham.”

“But we sensed after a while that he was a real meshugeneh [crazy],” the spokesperson said. “This was not evident immediately. He was quite knowledgeable in Torah, mild mannered and even somewhat pleasant. He has a fantastic memory and was passionate about Torah knowledge. He has a very dark side as well, and a pull towards extremism. Once this side came out we knew he was not worthy for giur [conversion] studies.”

In addition to being convicted of joining the banned group, Thomas was also convicted of having a terrorist manual that contained instructions for how to make bombs, JTA reported.

The jury also heard that Patatas, who was given five years in prison, said to another National Action member that “all Jews must be put to death.” Thomas allegedly told her that he “found that all non-whites are intolerable.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

This story "Brit Who Named Baby After Hitler Tried Becoming Jewish" was written by Alyssa Fisher.

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