Outrage when Sydney antique shop sells NAZI memorabilia, including swastika medals and Hitler photos
Antique sellers under siege for selling Nazi and extremist memorabilia fear misguided public outcry will destroy their businesses.
Smalls Auction is the latest to come under fire for selling pictures of Hitler, as well as swastika medallions, at its Oxford Street shop in Paddington, Sydney.
Owner Mark Duff defended offering the items in his store, saying that museums should not be the only places to see ‘offensive items’.
Smalls Auctions on Oxford Street in Sydney is one of many dealers selling Nazi merchandise. Owner Mark Duff disagreed that only museums should display ‘offensive items’
A Nazi Combat Medal for sale at a Perth dealer, JB Military Antiques
“I disagree as museums buy from me on a regular basis, so they clearly have no problem with my morals or business ethics,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“If I got everything out of the sale that offended one group or the other, there would be nothing left for sale.”
“I believe they are, good or bad, relics of a history that should not be denied,” said Mr. Duff.
He is just one of many Australian sellers – usually auction houses or antique and military surplus stores – who stock items with swastikas related to the Nazis and the Third Reich.
David G Smith, of Bathurst, sells a ‘Third Reich style doorplate’ for $ 35, while a ‘WWII German Wound Badge in Black for Combat Action’ was listed as a ‘popular’ item by JB Military Antiques of Perth for $ 79.95 .
JB Military Antiques has an entire category on this website for ‘Nazi Era German Medals, Badges & Awards’.
It received $ 29,000 for a cigar box and $ 19,000 for a hairbrush, both apparently previously owned by Hitler at an auction in April.
It also recently sold a rare Nazi dagger with dagger inscription for $ 4350.
A photo of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler is for sale at Smalls Auctions. 76 years after his death, the evil dictator remains a magnet for deranged extremists
JB Military Antiques in Perth is a specialist in Nazi memorabilia, of which opponents – including the Australian Federal Police – want to see a crime
Nazi items usually make up a small portion of the floor space or online catalogs, but they are met with passionate criticism.
Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, called such pieces “bloodstained items.”
“Let’s not play games here, they make money on this, they don’t do it for history,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This evil trade, which symbolizes the most inhumane period in history, tears to tear up our shared values and must stop now,’ said
Dr. Abramovich said any comparison between a shop selling Nazi memorabilia and a museum displaying it was “ false, ” because museums do not pursue profit with these items and provide historical context when displaying Nazi material.
“Much of this material is bought by white supremacists who use it as a recruiting tool and in their meetings,” he claimed.
It is morally wrong to allow seasoned end-solvers to buy such items, and it is the last thing we need at a time when neo-Nazism is on the rise in our nation.
“Anyone who buys Nazi memorabilia is celebrating and glorifying the extermination of six million Jews.”
A dagger allegedly used to kill Hitler’s opponents was recently sold by a Perth company for $ 4,350
Worryingly, Australians can buy and ship Isis flags online
Jamey Blewitt, owner of JB Military Antiques, said he was sure extremists weren’t shopping at his store.
“I dealt with them in our early years, they came in and told me the Holocaust hadn’t happened,” he said.
‘It is white waste that is on benefits at home. They have no money. I am not a Nazi and I hate the idea of Nazism.
“The people who buy from us are sparkies, plumbers, they have jobs and families – they are normal.”
He said buyers were often collectors who viewed Nazi silverware as an investment “like gold and stocks.”
The issue includes, but goes beyond, Nazi memorabilia with the Australian Federal Police keen to ban the public display of items with identifiable extremist texts and logos.
Islamic State equipment, such as Isis flags and headbands, can also be purchased online for as little as $ 25 – through websites like Trident Military, which is based in the US but shipped to Australia.
“There is a direct link between this good and the atrocities we have seen in Christchurch since the white supremacist gunman who massacred 50 Muslim worshipers was incited to act through the sheer hatred exemplified by paraphernalia of this kind,” claimed Dr.
A $ 29,000 cigar box (pictured) and a $ 19,000 hairbrush are among several items previously owned by Hitler and sold at auction in Australia – but the auction house was heavily criticized for the “ perverse and distorted sale. ”
“We also strongly support the criminalization of public display of flags and other extremist insignia,” the AFP said in a statement to Daily Mail Australia.
Jamey Blewitt claims he has heard from the AFP that he wants to know if neo-Nazis buy from his shop.
“The AFP often calls me to see if we’ve seen certain people – we’re communicating with them,” he said.
‘I understand where they came from. We are not Nazis.
‘I think the ideas of Nazism are terrible. We sell historical items and we do not condone Nazism. ‘
The AFP believes that online extremism has only gotten stronger during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have seen violent extremists who wanted to take advantage of isolation, loneliness and financial stress to boost their numbers,” he said.
“There is a gap in the current criminal laws that limits the response of investigators to those who own or disseminate revolting and educational extremist content.”
Victoria is on track to be the first state to close that gap.
A hairbrush with the Nazi coat of arms and Hitler’s initials ‘AH’ sold at the auction for $ 19,000
In March, an anti-tax report was filed in the Victorian parliament recommending making it “a criminal offense that” prohibits “the display of symbols of Nazi ideology, including the Nazi swastika.
It also recommended monitoring the public display of “other hateful symbols.”
The Victorian government has six months to respond, after which legislation must be drafted, making it unlikely that the law will be changed before the end of 2021.
Dr. Abramovich insisted that the new laws should include the public display of extremist material, including Nazi memorabilia, both online and in public stores.
‘The big question is whether new laws stand in the way of online auctions?’ he said.
‘We’re not sure, but if you can’t exhibit it, you certainly can’t sell it.’
Other state governments are expected to prepare to follow Victoria’s lead.
“I once again call on governments across the country to immediately ban the sale of Third Reich memorabilia,” said Dr. Abramovich.
The Daily Mail Australia reached out to David G Smith for comment.