The owner of a Tyabb antique shop has defended a decision to sell original Nazi memorabilia, saying the items are “part of history”.
Tyabb Grainstore Vintage and Antiques has a collection of war medals featuring swastikas for sale including an Order of the Eagle with Swords ($675), a World War II 25 year service medal ($245) and a World War I German Iron Cross. ($195).
The medals are displayed in a glass case towards the back of the shop with coins, stamps and Australian war memorabilia.
Grainstore owner Pauline Hughes said she had not received any complaints from customers or requests to remove the items.
“It’s not illegal to sell them,” she said.
“I have war memorabilia from all different nationalities and conflicts.
“Not displaying them doesn’t change what happened.”
However, Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich, who is leading a campaign to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia, said selling Nazi memorabilia was “obscene and outrageous”.
Dr Abramovich was alerted to the Nazi memorabilia by a religious Jewish man.
“As we witness the growing threat of white-supremacist organisations in our nation, we know that such groups have a warped appetite for these relics.”
Dr Abramovich called on The Grainstore to remove the items from sale.
The Grainstore is part of The Village at the rear of Tyabb Packing House Antiques complex.
It displays and sells vintage and retro items, antiques and collectibles from 17 different dealers.
Ms Hughes said she was approached about four months ago by a dealer who wanted to sell war memorabilia in her shop.
“I knew the Nazi medals were in his collection,” she said.
Ms Hughes bought the business about 16 months ago and said she had sold items some people considered controversial including Golly Wog dolls.
“I don’t have any at the moment because I have sold them all but there were four or five in the front window.”