Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

17.40 18 May 2021


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Nazi memorabilia shouldn't be sold at auction, a Solidarity TD says.

Mick Barry says such items belong in a museum, and putting them up for sale is an "insult to people who suffered under fascism".

It comes as a Flemish language Nazi propaganda poster is being sold by Matthews Auctioneers in Kells in an upcoming auction.

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It shows a Waffen-SS trooper shaking hand with a German worker, with a message stating: “The Waffen-SS calls you - will you too protect your fatherland.”

The poster is estimated to sell for €30-50, with the auctioneer saying the proceeds of the sale will go the Simon Wiesenthal Center charity "to support them in their fight against global antisemitism and hate".

Speaking to the Irish Independent, auctioneer Damien Matthews defended the sale - saying such "items can be a reminder of what not to do in life".

On The Hard Shoulder, Deputy Barry said he doesn't believe such Nazi propaganda items should be put up for sale.

Nazi propaganda poster shouldn't be up for sale at Irish auction, TD says

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He observed: “I don’t think it should go for auction - if it’s to go anywhere it should go to a museum, but not for sale.

“The question is is it appropriate that Nazi memorabilia would be sold, for sale or part of a commercial transaction. I don’t think it is: I think it’s an insult to people who suffered under fascism.

"I think you need to take into account as well the attitudes and the views of the groups who suffered most at the hands of the Nazis: I’m talking about the Jewish community, people from the LGBT community etc…"

He said it's often collectors and history buffs who buy up such items - but, in some cases, they can instead be bought by Nazi sympathisers.

He said such groups are "not very big" in Ireland but they do exist.

Deputy Barry stressed he isn't in favour of "burning or burying" such items as they are historical documents.

However, he believes the appropriate place for them is in a museum.

"It’s ultimately none of my business"

Also speaking on the show, Ian O'Doherty - columnist with the Irish Independent - said people should be allowed "buy this piece of tat" if they want to.

He suggested it's "soft censorship" for any politician to be calling for the sale of such items to be stopped.

He argued: “I actually think the main question is whether it’s appropriate for a politician to decide what somebody can buy and what somebody can’t.

“I don’t personally approve, but whether I personally approve is neither here nor there.

"It’s ultimately none of my business or none of Mick’s business.”

He said World War II and the Holocaust was the "worst period in human history that was perpetrated by the worst organisation in human history".

However, he suggested there are collectors out there who do want to collect rare historical items such as this one.

Main image: The poster being sold at the upcoming auction. Image: Matthews Auctioneers

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