Sunday, 8 June 2008

Nazi regalia on sale at Royal Cornwall Show

We went to the Royal Cornwall Show yesterday - my first chance to do so in about 8 years. It's one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country with about 140,000 people visiting over the course of the three days.

As well as the animals, both large and small, there are lots of commercial stands connected with the farming industry and lots to attract the casual visitor.

Unfortunately, whilst we were browsing the stands, we came across a jewellery stall selling earrings, some of which were decorated with nazi regalia. (See the picture, right, to see what I mean.) Not exactly in keeping with the spirit of the show.

When challenged, the owner of the stall simply shrugged.

So I'm now challenging the organisers of the Show to tell me whether they think it is acceptable to sell such items on stalls. If they don't think so, what action will they be taking to make sure that it doesn't happen again next year.

Edit: I am not suggesting that people should not be able to buy and sell Nazi regalia. I would find it far more acceptable for a stall holder to openly advertise their purpose as such, whether they were a Nazi supporter or a war collector. These earrings were £1 or 6 pairs for £5. The other designs featured smiley faces and band and brand logos which were clearly aimed at children.

On the other point that people have mentioned in the comments, no group other than the Nazis has ever used the swastika in conjunction with the iron cross. Jock is correct to point out that the swastika faced right in Nazi Germany. It has been banned in many European countries and to attempt to subvert that and allow deniability, a left facing swastika is commonly used by neo-nazi groups today because it is a Hindu peace symbol and officials will not prosecute. More common still is the sun wheel, another celtic symbol which has a small resemblance to the swastika.

3 comments:

Julian H said...

Without wanting to be stereotypically and predictably liberal, I don't think restrictions on what designs people can or can't sell (or buy) are the way to go.

Selling (or wearing) Nazi earings is notably stupid and offensive, but people should be free to be stupid and offensive.

Paul Hulbert said...

That doesn't look like a Nazi swastika - it's the wrong way round. Isn't it the ancient eastern good luck symbol?

Jock Coats said...

The swasitka symbol has been used for millennia and examples have been found throughout the world, including in Celtic finds, with both left and right facing arms. The rightward facing arms as used by the Nazis seems to have been the most common. But the left facing armed version was never used by the Nazis.

It is unfortunate that the juxtaposition on this particular work of what appears to be a Nazi era iron cross medal with a swatika inside and all in the right colours to be genuine Nazi, but let's face it, that cross shape is also an ancient Celtic symbol too.

So it could be entirely innocent, or it could be an idiot who does not realize that they've got the Nazi symbol the wrong way round anyway!