BRITISH COLUMBIA

New Westminster Nazi Memorabilia: Store Criticized For Carrying Third Reich Gear

09/04/2012 12:53 EDT
Alamy

A store in New Westminster is selling swastika flags alongside Israeli paratrooper bags.

Westley Military Surplus, owned by Pauly Benton, sells Nazi collectables, the Royal City Record reports. The paper caught wind of the items when an Israeli customer walked into the store and found it "crazy" that Nazi T-shirts were available.

"It's kind of weird to me that they sell it in plain sight," Avie Arauf said. "Maybe it's because I'm Jewish, but I don't know."

Benton, who comes from Jewish descent himself, says it's important to remember history.

"I find it offensive that this guy phoned and complained about it," he told the Record. "I find that totally offensive, knowing that I have five distant relatives in my family that were actually killed during the Holocaust. So, to me, it's something that should not be forgotten."

Others don't share Benton's enthusiasm. Rabbi Andrew Rosenblatt tells News1130 that Nazi collectables belong on display, not for sale.

"Those things really belong in a museum, they belong in the hands of public trustees who ensure they remain part of an education system," he told the radio station.

Westley Military Surplus isn't the only place in the Lower Mainland that sells Nazi collectables. Vancouver's Gorilla Surplus has Nazi emblems for sale through its website.