Flash back 28 years ago, and my graduation thesis on the “Freudian Study of Adolf Hitler” whereby I learned the horrid details of death as the aftermath of World War II.
Flash forward 4 years and a shopping day with my university girlfriend in Calgary, Alberta. In the middle of Calgary’s largest mall was a display of Nazi memorabilia for sale, which if you knew how many ex-Nazis escaped Germany in ‘45 and skulked into Canada's prairie provinces to permanently disappear, you wouldn’t think this display very odd. The salesman had various trinkets for sale including a parade flag with that onerous swastika, only for $100. As I surveyed the wears, I couldn’t make myself physically touch any of them, and even though that flag looked temping (as I am a history nut), I felt that if I even touched it, much less owned it, the blood of all those concentration camp internees would also be on my hands as well, so I passed on the sale but never forgot the experience of almost buying history.
Family members of Jewish concentration camp victims buying Nazi memorabilia in Dizengoff Square flea market, items of death on sale for a deal!!!
Maybe now I can use the phrase “to Jew down” with a sense of validity and not just effrontery, I thought to myself! I’ve heard acquiring a “steal of a deal’ but this takes the cake!
The sellers and the buyers, all Jewish and many direct relatives of the crematorium victims excuse this burgeoning industry with points of defence such as being afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome (obsessively relating to one’s captors) and solidifying the existence of the concentration camps to nay-sayers by owning evidence of said.
When asked if these salesmen would sell glasses and locks of hair of the victims, they say they would not…but one wonders…
Such items as a Nazi First Aid kit designed to attach to a motorcycle will go for $670 USD, a Nazi officer’s clock for $1,000 and Hitler’s own hand done paintings for $350,000.00.
The really valuable items are not displayed on the flea market tables but are housed in boxes and drawers, shown when requested for sale by enquiring serious buyers.
None of the Jewish stall owners nor roaming shoppers seem to be phased by this other-worldly display and salesmen easily admit that this industry has been in progress for many years, well before this display was discovered.
Such salesmen admit that they are trying to scour the countryside for items before Hitler becomes a cultural icon, as are now the likes of Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, and Jewish buyers don’t want to miss a good deal on the ground level of this buying spree.
One wonders how these people go to sleep at night knowing they own a relic of death directly associated with the demise of their own family members? And I wonder why I felt so guilt-ridden back then, that to touch such memorabilia would also stain my hands with innocent blood?
According to these deal-makers, MsBurb was a financial putz; according to my moral code, I wasn’t. Now I’m pretty sure that $100 Nazi flag will be hanging on the wall of some Jewish man or woman whose Mother or Father died a horrible death directly because of it’s existence.
It’s enough to make me gulp, shake my head and walk away from this post depressingly confused…