An antique shop in Waterloo Ontario finds itself under fire for displaying and selling a piece of Nazi memorabilia. The item, a 1930s Nazi tunic with a party pin and armband, is priced at $6,500 and sold at St. Jacobs Antiques Market.
Customer Jeremy Scharoun expressed his shock and disgust upon seeing the item. “It was just to profit off something pretty obscene,” he said to CityNews, emphasizing that there’s a significant difference between selling such an item and using it for educational purposes.
Scharoun later reiterated his concerns to store staff, who maintained that the items are historical pieces.
Nazi memorabilia or legitimate historical pieces?
The store, in a statement to CityNews, confirmed that they sell military memorabilia from various eras, including both World Wars. They highlighted that their intention is to educate people about history, not to support Nazism. However, Scharoun argues against the idea of profiting from genocide.
Furthermore, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has urged the antique dealer to halt the sale of the Nazi uniform, warning against it potentially falling into the hands of extremists. FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt said in a statement, “This Nazi uniform belongs in an appropriate educational institution... Otherwise, it may end up in the wrong hands, including extremists and Nazi sympathizers.”
This is not the first time a vendor at a St. Jacobs antiques shop has sparked controversy by offering Nazi memorabilia for sale. In 2015, a vendor at Market Road Antiques tried to sell a letter signed by Adolf Hitler, items bearing swastikas, and a ring belonging to an SS officer before a petition resulted in the vendor removing the items from sale.
“FSWC’s position about this latest incident is consistent with its past condemnation of previous sales of Nazi memorabilia in Canada,” FSWC said in a statement.
St. Jacobs Antiques Market has responded to the backlash to CityNews, suggesting that the criticisms might be “a deliberate attack on our business for personal gains.”