Nazi memorabilia available for purchase at St. Jacobs antique market
While there may not be anything illegal about it, the idea of Nazi memorabilia being sold at a St. Jacobs antique store is leaving a foul taste in some mouths.
A letter signed by Adolf Hitler, items bearing swastikas and a ring belonging to an S.S. officer are among the goods for sale from one vendor at Market Road Antiques.
Rabbi Moshe Goldman, a Waterloo-based rabbi, says he received a complaint about the display.
“It boggles my mind and it sickens me that somebody wants to use this to make a buck,” he said in an interview.
“You should not be making your living off of evil.”
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is illegal to advocate genocide, or publicly promote or incite hatred against a group.
It is unclear if that would apply to selling items like those available in St. Jacobs.
Waterloo Regional Police say they consider swastikas to be “hate-based” symbols, but can’t comment on this specific case unless they receive a formal complaint.
Reached by phone, the current owner of the items said military paraphernalia is one of the few areas in which antique dealers can still make money.
“I don’t see the big fuss about this,” Mike McMillin said.
“I think we’ve persecuted the Germans long enough.”
McMillin isn’t the only vendor selling Nazi items at Market Road Antiques.
A medal decorated with a swastika, cufflinks and an old copy of Mein Kampf were among the pieces spotted Thursday by a CTV News camera.
The manager of the shop says the decision to allow the items was a difficult one – and an “amazing” number of people show interest in items of that type.
“This is an antiques store. This is part of history – that’s why we choose to have it in the store,” Bev Nielson said.
“It’s a sensitive topic – we totally get that – but it is history. They teach it in the schools.”
People browsing the market had a mixed reaction to the items, with most saying they wouldn’t want to buy the items themselves, but could understand why others might be interested.
“I understand the idea of wanting to collect something that’s part of history, even if it’s a dark part of history,” said Paul Ribeiro.
“They tried to destroy our way of life, and we beat them. It’s just history – look at it as just that,” added Howie Clark.
Goldman says he doesn’t want to see the items sold, and would rather see them donated to a museum than destroyed.