Nazi knife pulled from Ipswich store
AN Ipswich shop owner says he was shocked when it was pointed out to him that he was selling a knife emblazoned with a swastika and SS insignia.
When Queensland Times contacted TSG Tobacco Station at Booval Fair about the item, owner Hitesh Khatri said he wouldn't sell "racist" paraphernalia.
However moments later his staff pointed out the brass pocket knife in the store's knife cabinet.
"I wasn't aware that the symbols on this knife were associated with Hitler, especially the SS emblem, I am not familiar with this," a shocked Khatri said.
"I buy many, many items from suppliers so it is difficult to know everything about them."
He explained he was of Hindu heritage and that he had initially mistaken this swastika with the one used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions.
The story about the knife first came to Queensland Times' attention when Ipswich resident Stephen Jamieson shared a post to the paper's Facebook page.
"Pretty sad that in this day and age the Tobacco shop at Booval Fair is quite happy to sell Nazi themed paraphernalia," Jamieson wrote, adding: "Shame on you".
His post included a photograph of the folding knife and its swastika and SS emblems.
The swastika was the symbol of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and his SS military units were largely responsible for the genocidal murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.
The sale of Nazi memorabilia at shops and at auctions has received global attention of late with online retailer Amazon removing similar goods from its store after pressure from politicians and organisations that track hate groups.
There sale is also banned in some European countries.
Closer to home an auction in Western Australian earlier this year was condemned as "morally repugnant" by a Jewish group for its sale of similar memorabilia. And there was more outrage when an auction house in Tasmania, Armitage Auctions, advertised an SS officer's ring and a Hitler youth belt buckle just this month.
As for the knife at TSG Tobacco Station, Khatri said he'd remove it immediately but declined to name who he bought it from.
He added that he also only had the one item in stock and was not aware of the knife's origin, but believed it is was a recently manufactured product and not a relic from World War II.
"At just $39.95 it is unlikely it dates back that far," Khatri said.
"I've sold knives for a number of years now and I haven't had complaints like this in the past.
"I'll keep selling knives but I'll return this one to my supplier.
"It is wrong," he added.