UPDATE (August 30, 2023): This morning, St. Jacobs Antiques Market notified us that the Nazi uniform has been pulled and issued an apology. We're thankful for the market's quick response and understanding of our concerns over the sale of Nazi memorabilia, and are hopeful the market will avoid any future sales of such items.
Toronto (August 29, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has called on an antiques dealer to immediately stop the sale of a Nazi uniform to the public at a market in St. Jacobs, Ontario.
The uniform, described by the dealer as a “very rare” Nazi political tunic, features a Nazi armband and pin and is on sale for $6,500 at the St. Jacobs Antiques Market near Waterloo.
FSWC first learned of the item late last week, after it was reported to Waterloo Regional Police. The organization has reached out to the market, expressing concern over its sale of the Nazi uniform for profit.
“While it’s not illegal to display or sell Nazi memorabilia, profiting off such items associated with the genocide of six million Jews and millions of others goes against good conscience,” said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt. “This Nazi uniform belongs in an appropriate educational institution, used as an education tool to teach the public about the Second World War and the horrors of the Holocaust. Otherwise, it may end up in the wrong hands, including extremists and Nazi sympathizers.”
In response to criticism of the prospective sale of the Nazi item, the market issued a statement in which it strangely suggests the negative reactions represent “a deliberate attack on our business for personal gains.”
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 S.S. officer before a petition resulted in the vendor removing the items for sale.
FSWC’s position about this latest incident is consistent with its past condemnation of previous sales of Nazi memorabilia in Canada.