SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A New Zealand Jewish leader blasted an online auction site selling Nazi memorabilia but won’t call for a ban.
Zillion, which has been operated by Kiwis since 2005, has scores of items for sale listed under “Nazi,” including pins, badges, armbands and medals, as well as two Nazi officers’ hats bearing the eagle and the swastika.
The sale of Nazi memorabilia is legal in New Zealand and Australia; it is prohibited in parts of Europe.
New Zealand Jewish Council President Stephen Goodman said the sale of items from the Third Reich was disgraceful.
“There is, of course, a balance between the freedom of choice and censorship, but profiting from the sale of these items is abhorrent,” he told The Press newspaper.
“In many ways, we’d like it to be made illegal, but that said, doing so might give it publicity that would only encourage certain elements.”
Zillion’s competitor, Trade Me, banned the sale of Nazi memorabilia in 2005.
A Zillion spokesman defended the right of individuals to sell what they want, although he stressed that the auction site did not endorse the Nazi regime.
“We do not feel that it is Zillion’s place to act as a moral censor,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Australian Jewish community leaders this week called on a storeowner in Canberra to stop selling Nazi memorabilia.
“You can’t sell it in Germany, eBay won’t touch it, we have members in our community who are Holocaust survivors, as I am myself,” said Dr. Anita Shroot, the president of the Jewish community in the capital.
The store owner, Doug Mulley, told ABC Radio that although he appreciated the sensitivity of the memorabilia, there was a market for it.