The Jewish community in the Australian state of Western Australia has renewed its call for public displays of the swastikas to be banned after an auction of Nazi memorabilia was announced.
The auction by Perth’s JB Military Antiques includes a Nazi banner, daggers, swastika flags, SS uniform items and a card signed by Adolf Hitler, according to Australian national broadcaster ABC.
Jewish leaders slammed the sale, with Steve Lieblich, the vice-president of the Jewish Community Council of WA, telling the news outlet that auctions of Nazi memorabilia were “feeding” the problem.
"I think that people who are interested are either weird or closet Nazis," Lieblich said. "Conducting their business – it might be legal, but it's certainly not wise and not honourable."
According to the report, many of the items in the sale have already been bid on. The auction will take place later in November.
Lieblich called for Nazi items to be collected solely for historical purposes by universities and museums, but not to be in the possession of individuals.
Noting that the sale was not illegal, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark described it as “sickening” and echoed Lieblich’s call for the items not to be available for sale to individual Australians.
But the auction house’s owner Jamey Blewett, told ABC Radio Perth that the sale was legal.
“The problem is buying and selling of Third Reich military [items] is, unfortunately, the largest area of collecting in the world,” he said. "If we didn't sell it we'd be losing a large market, and it's not just here in Australia – it's worldwide, especially in America.”
He described most of his customers as military history buffs, and said he did not sell items from concentration camps.
"The majority of people that buy these pieces are male, they're middle class, they're tradies, they're the average person that you walk past in the street, they'll be your neighbour," he added.
The public display of swastikas and other Nazi symbols has been banned in four states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)