A Perth-based store, which is into the sale of military antiques, has come under fire for selling pricey Nazi memorabilia. The protests were voiced by the local Jewish community.
JB Military Antiques has been selling hundreds of World War II-era Nazi items, including daggers, flags, medals and documents costing as much as $12,000.
The store’s website has a disclaimer, which says the items are sold “as historical pieces only and hold no political affiliations.”
The store’s owner, Jamey Blewitt, is a former history teacher. He defends the business and says that most of the people buying Nazi memorabilia are quite “normal people”.
“We don’t sell to skinheads, we don’t sell to people with extreme views because those people, by and large, have no money,” he told News Corp.
Some of the items up for sale include German Nazi SA sports badge, Nazi flags, Nazi party and SA armbands, a Nazi police sports eagle, Nazi daggers, Air Defence Honour decorations, Nazi and fascist youth scarfs and a Nazi Mother’s Cross.
Blewitt said he never sold items relating to concentration camps or death squads. The owner claimed that Nazi memorabilia was “actually the most collected of all memorabilia worldwide” though it makes up only 10 percent of his sales.
Although it has been outlawed in Austria, France and Germany, selling Nazi memorabilia is not illegal in Australia. Robert Goot, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said the trade “reflects poorly on those who engage in it.”
He said it was sad to see people are minting profit from the collection or Nazi and Holocaust memorabilia while remaining indifferent to the racism, bigotry, persecution and mass murder with which these items are associated.
“They are also desensitising others to the realities of Nazi brutality and the immense suffering it inflicted on millions of people,” he added.
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission called the trade “ghoulish and macabre.”
“These hateful materials have no place in Australia,” he said.
Meanwhile, collecting Nazi memorabilia can be costly at times. There is the case of a human rights group’s military analyst in the US who was sacked for that.
Marc Garlasco was suspended by New York-based Human Rights Watch for collecting German World War II memorabilia. Garlasco’s collection was revealed by a blog, which alleged that the military analyst had an anti-Israel bias, reports Haaretz.