Outrage over auction of Nazi memorabilia including SS ring
A LAUNCESTON auction house will go ahead with the sale of Nazi memorabilia despite outrage from a prominent Jewish group.
Among the items being offered by Launceston's Armitage Auctions on Wednesday is an SS officer's ring.
The SS was the most extreme military unit of Hitler's Third Reich and were responsible for the genocidal murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.
Also on offer in the auction are a police officer's badge and a Hitler youth belt buckle adorned with swastikas - the most potent symbol of the Nazi regimen.
The Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dvir Abramovich called on the auction house to remove the items from the sale.
"This is cruel and sickening. Peddling the tools of the devil and trafficking in death and blood must never become normal in Tasmania," he said.
"Everything about this repulsive trade is indecent, and if you want to see first-hand the face of pure evil, responsible for the barbaric extermination of millions, look no further than the perverse objects showcased in Armitage Auctions.
"I'm sure that Hitler would be delighted to know that the ghastly instruments of his regime's monstrous crimes, are proudly offered for sale in an Australian store in 2019 and are available for neo-Nazis and Third Reich worshippers who are nourished and revel in this stuff.
"I can't imagine the anguish Holocaust survivors and the diggers who gave their lives to defeat the Nazis would be feeling right now."
Auctioneer Neil O'Brien said selling Nazi memorabilia was legal and the auction would go ahead.
"You look at any historic artefacts. A lot of them have got to do with things to do with them that one's particularly proud of, but the fact of the matter is that they're collectable," he said.
"Unfortunately there's no law against selling it at auction. And if we don't sell it, somebody else will.
"I mean we sell samurai swords and that people think 'Oh that's all fine'. Well, some of these swords cut Australian soldiers heads off."
The sale of Nazi memorabilia is banned in some European countries and by some online auction sites.
Dr Abramovich said he was concerned what sort of person would buy Nazi memorabilia - particularly at a time right-wing hate groups were on the rise again.
"Even the pursuit of profits must have its limits," he said.
"We know that in the real world, anti-Semitic incitement, as represented by this paraphernalia, often results in violence and deadly attacks, and as we witness the growing threat of white-supremacist organisations in our nation, we know that such groups have an appetite for these monstrous relics.
"The tragedies at Pittsburgh, Christchurch, El Paso and San Diego should prompt everyone to do some very serious soul-searching and to choose the high road."