NEW YORK (Apr. 28)
Although Nazi Germany went out of business 25 years ago, four firms in Austria are doing a brisk trade turning out Nazi emblems–swastikas, death heads and campaign ribbons, United Press International has reported from Vienna. One of the firms. Carl Sieder Co., has been producing them since 1938 when its biggest customer was the Nazi legions occupying Austria. West German and Austrian laws passed after the war forbid the wearing of Nazi uniforms and emblems but it is not illegal to manufacture and sell them, the UPI report pointed out. Most of the production of the Austrian firms is for export. According to their spokesmen, the Nazi regalia is purchased by collectors in the United States, by American film companies and by motorcycle gangs such as “Hell’s Angels.” But Simon Wiesenthal, head of the Nazi war crimes documentation center in Vienna, told the UPI that many Nazi emblems go to South America where former high-ranking Nazis are in hiding. Part of the traffic, he said, goes to the “Black Guard,” an illegal organization of ex-Nazi officers in South America, the UPI reports said. An employe of one of the firms trading in Nazi symbols agreed with Wiesenthal. He said parcels of Nazi emblems go to South America at least once a week, according to UPI.