Queensland auction house criticised for ‘sickening’ sale of Nazi items

A yellowed armband that a Jewish person would have been forced to wear in a Nazi-controlled ghetto is among dozens of items linked to the oppressive regime listed for auction by a Queensland business.

The coming sale was labelled “sickening” by a prominent Jewish campaigner, but the Gold Coast auction house behind the sale argued it was important to remember the past.

Danielle Elizabeth Auctions has listed 22 items linked with the Nazi regime, including an Ordnungspolizei uniform displaying the feared “SS” symbol valued at up to $2000, embroidered sleeves with an eagle and swastika, and an eagle swastika and skull pins that would have been worn on a Waffen-SS cap.

Managing director Dustin Sweeny said the vendor was a man aged in his 80s who lived in Nuremberg in the 1960s and became interested in collecting World War II military items.

“He ended up here in Queensland, he’s towards the end of his life and he has Parkinson’s, and he’s decided to downsize his collection,” Mr Sweeny said.

He added that the main buyers of World War II artefacts were museums.

“You can’t erase the past, and nor should you, and if it gets erased, everyone forgets what happens and it’s more likely to happen again.

“We’re not promoting anything, we’re not promoting any ideology, it’s just military artefacts, and they’re not illegal.”

Read the article by Felicity Caldwell in the Brisbane Times.