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August 19, 2015 2:22 pm

New Zealand Collectibles Shop Owner Refuses to Take Down Nazi Swastika Flag

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Nazi flag. Photo: wiki commons.

Nazi flag. Photo: wiki commons.

A collectibles retailer in Rotorua, New Zealand has refused to take down a Nazi swastika flag from his shop because of what he said was popular demand for Third Reich insignia, the Rotorua Daily Post reported on Wednesday.

In fact, salesman Walter Dobbs — whose store stocks war memorabilia, sports items and other historical collectibles — said he was “thinking about buying some more.”

“And I can get more, they’re still making them, they’re making them in New Zealand. What does that tell you? You don’t make stuff in New Zealand if no one is going to buy it,” he said.

The item came to the Post‘s attention through a former serviceman, who was concerned that the prominent display of Nazi imagery would offend other ex-soldiers, who fought with the Allies against the Nazis in World War II, as well as tourists visiting the lakeside town on New Zealand’s North Island.

But Dobbs was adamant: “If enough people came in and said it was offensive, I probably would take it down. Of course there are people out there who will be offended and so there should be, but there should be a freedom of choice for me to do what I like, we don’t live in North Korea or Syria,” he said, according to the Post. 

“The most copied, the most expensive and the most collected military in the world is Third Reich; we can’t deny that. I have no sympathies with them myself of course but if the public come and ask for it, what do you do? What’s the worst thing you can say as a retailer? No haven’t got any,” he said.

New Zealand Jewish Council chairman Stephen Goodman regretted that Dobbs was seeking to make a profit off of Nazi memorabilia.

“If it’s to learn from the past to ensure we don’t repeat the future then it is quite a valid subject to study, but the glorification of it is quite grotesque and most offensive,” he said.

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  • Eliezer Barak

    Utter nonsense! My parents’ generation fought the war and brought many ‘souvenirs’ home upon demobilization. My childhood friends and I, all Jewish children, happily played all over our neighborhood with the Swastika armbands, Nazi-Party daggers, and Mauser rifles that our parents took (with extreme violence) from enemy soldiers. We knew EXACTLY what these items meant, which was why we were so overjoyed to play with them, with our elders’ encouragement. At family gatherings and at neighborhood functions the American ex-servicemen would tell their war stories – D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Bridge at Remagen, Occupation duty. If the ‘memorabilia’ is outlawed we will be in danger of forgetting the truth of the war, which is still considered to be ‘a just war’ today!

  • Bede Amarasekara

    Enough is enough, some organisation, possibly Govt. of Israel, should take it up at UN level to ban anything associated with Nazi’s, as it was an atrocity against Humanity, within a global context. Once it is adopted at that level, a ban should automatically be enforced to display anything associated with Nazism other than to create awareness in such places as museums, etc. This would ellivate the need for bans at country level, etc.

    • Anonymous

      easy boy! this is the freedom to buy and sell, nothing about your ancestors here.

  • SM

    NEW ZEALAND? really?
    sheep and white trash
    great rugby and scenery but thats about it

  • Tzvi

    who cares?

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Pity if his stored burned.