When are shop owners going to learn that displaying Nazi symbols is never acceptable?
This time it's the military memorabilia store King and Country in Pacific Place Mall, which sells historical miniatures and toy soldiers, including "Egyptian pharaohs, figurines from the American Revolution, both world wars, the conflicts in Afghanistan and even the streets of old Hong Kong."
While the store is not focused exclusively on Nazi merchandise, it's not a stretch to say that Nazi swastikas and little Adolf Hitler figurines are going to upset people. And to make matters worse, this shop is owned by an expatriate, who really ought to know better.
In his defence he stated:
"We are showing battle scenes, but not the killing of civilians," said the 63-year-old Scot. "Wars happen without toy soldiers ... We are covering all aspects of history, and the Nazis are just a part of world war two."
He also said his products were:
"... highly detailed models for adult collectors", not for children. Booklets explaining the background of the historical figures are available in the shop.
For adults the figurines may be, but saying the Nazis are 'just a part' of the war is like saying Adolf Hitler was just misunderstood.
Of course we must not bury our heads in the sand and pretend Nazism didn't happen by hiding symbols and insignia forever (we must look into the darkness of the human heart if we hope not to repeat its horrors), but in instances like this, displaying even toy replicas is certainly going to bother people, because the extermination of millions of human beings under the banner of racial purity is not something that can be forgotten, nor should it be.
One French expatriate said "it would be better for the shop to show interested customers a catalogue instead of openly displaying Nazi items because of the distress these many cause." And she's right. Collectors know what they're looking for and will ask for it when interested; there is no need to attract them with these particular items.
Because anyone who has been affected by the Nazis doesn't need a fresh reminder of their pain.
Image courtesy South China Morning Post