Anger in Australia Over Nazi Memorabilia Auction
An auction house in Australia is continuing the sale of Nazi memorabilia despite strong protests from Jewish leaders, state government officials and local activists.
Armitage Auctions in Launceston, Tasmania, will be selling the Nazi items for the third time in under a year. On Tuesday, bids will be accepted at an online auction for a Cast Aluminum German Eagle Crest with a swastika at the center.
Last October, more than 30 objects were offered by Armitage Auctions, including swastika-adorned badges, pins and medals, an SS ring and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
An August 2019 event fetched more than $2,000, with one buyer spending $1,000 for an SS ring, while a Hitler Youth belt buckle sold for $500 and a German Police belt buckle sold for $525.
Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) chairman Dvir Abramovich — who has been spearheading the Jewish advocacy group’s national campaign to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia in Australia — labelled the current auction as “indecent and cruel,” adding that, “if you want to see up-close the face of pure evil, which led to systemic extermination of six million Jews and millions of others, look no further than the grisly and perverse objects showcased last year and this year on the Armitage Auctions site.”
Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor urged the island’s Premier, Peter Gutwein, to take a firm stand against the “glorification of the Nazis and the Holocaust.”
O’Connor has pledged to introduce a draft bill in parliament which will prohibit the sale and display of Nazi memorabilia except for approved purposes, such as for display in a museum.
Attorney General Elise Archer said that while the auction was not illegal, it was distressing and a breach of moral standards, and applauded other auction houses that have elected not to sell Nazi memorabilia. She clarified that the Australian government was not considering any further action or review on the issue at present.