An Australian auction of nearly 60 pieces of Nazi memorabilia was denounced by Jewish leaders who urged the items to be placed in museums.
Items sold in the weekend sale hosted by Melbourne auction house Oldies Collectibles included an SS book, Nazi uniforms, Nazi soup bowls and a gas canister, the Australian Jewish News reported.
A ceramic soup bowl was described as “this is well marked with swastika to the underside” while another soup bowl had a Third Reich scene painted on it and was being sold for a minimum of $750 and was described as a “once-in-a-lifetime piece.”
The objects “belong in museums, not on people’s mantelpieces,” the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) said.
ECAJ research director Julie Nathan told the Jewish News that the owner of the auction house Dan Mahoney should “consider removing Third Reich items from future auctions.”
“With rising levels of hate incidents against Jews, and with neo-Nazis becoming more active in Australia, we would prefer to see all commercial operators voluntarily stop this trade, rather than being compelled to do so,” she said.
Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Daniel Aghion described the items as “reminders of a despicable regime committed to eradicating the Jewish people.”
Mahoney told the news outlet that the items were being sold for “history not hate.”
“If I was to see someone out in the street, marching around and saying anti-Jewish things and waving swastikas, I’d be reporting them to the police, also telling them to lock the bastards up in jail. But when we sell to innocent collectors in Australia … these people are being persecuted now.”