Gold Coast antiques fair causes outrage with Nazi swastikas, daggers on sale

An antiques fair on the Gold Coast has been forced to apologise after selling Nazi memorabilia including swastikas, armbands, flags and daggers.

Jan 17, 2023, updated Jan 17, 2023
Nazi memorabilia such as the items pictured caused outrage when they were offered for sale at a Gold Coast antiques fair. (ABC file image)

Nazi memorabilia such as the items pictured caused outrage when they were offered for sale at a Gold Coast antiques fair. (ABC file image)

President of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, Jason Steinberg, said a member of the Jewish community spotted a table full of Nazi memorabilia at the Red Carpet Gold Coast Antiques and Collectibles Fair at Coomera at the weekend.

Swastika armbands, SS daggers, considered an honour weapon of the SS of the Nazi Party, and small figurines and cards of Adolf Hitler were on display on a table by one of the stallholders.

Steinberg said the items should be destroyed.

“People who are trying to sell this kind of merchandise should understand that it’s not appropriate,” he said.

“This kind of paraphernalia, this kind of memorabilia, should never see the light of day. It should either be in a museum or destroyed.”

Gold Coast Antiques and Collectibles Fairs organiser Allan Lawson told ABC Gold Coast he was very upset that the Nazi items had got “under the radar”.

Other items, including guns, had been weeded out and banned from being sold at the fair, he said.

“We estimate at a fair that there’s over 200,000 items from jewellery to postcards. So, it’s very hard for a manager to keep check,” Lawson said.

“On the day before quite few items had been removed, such as guns and replicas of guns. But the Nazi display went unnoticed by management and us.”

Lawson said organisers of the fair, that has been running for 35 years, were upset and apologetic.

“We’re sending out a memo to sellers before they come to the fair that articles such as that are not allowed at our fairs, that it’s definitely not acceptable. We apologise not only to the Jewish community, but we apologise to everyone if they’re upset. I’m upset.

“The fairs have raised $10 million over the 35 years for the Endeavour Foundation and other charities, and I’m very upset about it.”

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Steinberg said the woman who spotted the items amongst the antiques at Coomera was unable to speak to the seller or organisers of the fair at the weekend to complain.

“It’s very important not only for the Jewish community but the community at large that these things should not be shown in public,” Steinberg said.

“Obviously the woman from our community who saw it was horrified.”

The State Government will this year introduce legislation to ban public displays of hate symbols such as those related to Nazi ideology.

The new laws announced in May last year aim to combat hate crimes and serious vilification. The laws would introduce a new criminal offence making it illegal to display Nazi and other hate symbols.

Steinberg said the legislation would help tackle anti-Semitism, racism and hate crime head on.

“These symbols, these artefacts, represent the murder of six million Jews but also five million other people who were industrially slaughtered just because they were different,” he said. “We would encourage the owners of those items to donate them to a Holocaust museum…or put them in the bin because that’s where they belong.”


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