Camden Passage antiques dealer defends decision to stock 200 items of Nazi memorabilia
- Credit: Archant
A Camden Passage military antiques dealer has defended his stock of Third Reich memorabilia, saying his customers aren’t Nazis.
Some 200 items at Lindsay Jones’ Hearts and Daggers shop – out of about 3,000 – date from the Third Reich. They include a collection of swastika badges Mr Jones said were “just representing the other side during the Second World War”.
Another military shop just around the corner – Phoenix Militaria in Charlton Place – also sells genuine Nazi items, and both stores openly advertise the wares online.
Mr Jones said his customers were simply collectors purchasing expensive items out of historical interest.
“If someone was actually holding that ideology, if they want to go around stomping up and down in a uniform, then they could go out and buy a reproduction piece if they wanted to.”
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Others buy these items because they like “the actual design,” he added.
“I’m not talking about the swastika itself, but the badges are quite well designed, they’re very art-deco because it was done in the ’30s, and they are very well made.”
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In 2012, MPs requested a ban on the sale of Nazi memorabilia after items owned by Holocaust victims were put up for auction, but their efforts failed.
But international auction houses like Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, won’t handle Nazi items, and nor will online marketplaces like eBay.
Auctioneer Sarah McLean, formerly of Bonham’s, said: “In the case of memorabilia from the Third Reich, to celebrate these items through their offering at auction not only gives people a dangerous platform in which to glorify Nazism, but also to justify this troubling period in history.”
But Mr Jones said: “If I had a Russian flag from the 1930s, it’s a similar thing. The Russians weren’t very nice in the ’30s and the ’20s, same with the Chinese, the British and so on.”
Nazi history expert Prof Gerhard Weinberg said: “If individuals wish to collect in this field, that may reflect on their good judgement but I see no reason to prohibit it.”