An Australian Jewish advocacy organization has denounced the “perverse” auction of over 100 Nazi items scheduled to occur over the weekend.
The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) is calling on the state of Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan to ban the public display of Nazi symbols in response to the sale.
“If Hitler were alive today, he would be applauding them for glorifying his barbaric crimes and keeping his monstrous legacy alive,” ADC Chairman Dvir Abramovich, said in a statement.
Abramovich is heading a nation-wide campaign to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia.
The Nazi items will be for sale on October 16 and 17 by Perth auction house JB Military Antiques. The memorabilia includes Iron crosses, badges and metals featuring swastikas.
The items are estimated to be worth thousands of dollars on auction.
The event will be one of the largest such sales in Australian history, according to the ADC.
“You would think that by now, auction houses would understand that it is perverse to put a price tag on genocide,” Abramovich said. “White supremacists are nourished by these cursed, blood-stained items, and use them to recruit new members to their dangerous cause. I can’t imagine the pain Holocaust survivors and their families would be feeling right now. Australians expect better than to see this flat-out disgusting event take place and would reject this ghoulish profiteering that is poisoning our society, and which violates our nation’s core values.”
JB Military Antiques has reportedly been selling Nazi memorabilia since at least 2016.
In April, the ADC accused the auction house of “[trampling] on the memory of the victims of the Holocaust” for putting multiple items supposedly owned by Adolph Hitler up for an auction Abramovich called “perverse and twisted” and a “kick in the stomach” to Holocaust survivors.
The items on sale included a cigarette box, a decanter, a hair brush, a gravy boat and an ice bucket. Many of the items were listed as “exceptional and very rare” and contained Hitler’s engraved initials.
The cigarette box received a bid of $12,500.
The company’s owner Jamey Blewitt defended the sale of the Nazi items. He said on social media: “We don’t do this because we’re neo-Nazis, we do this because we’re running a business and we’re representing history – good or bad.”
In September, Victoria was the first Australian state to enact a ban on the public display of Nazi symbols.