Australia: 4 neo-Nazis walk into a supermarket and tell offended shoppers to ‘f–k off’
Shoppers at a Victorian supermarket were stunned when four neo-Nazis in their early 20s, dressed in Nazi uniforms entered the Woodend store, north of Melbourne, about 12pm on Saturday, October 26.
A photograph obtained by local outlets and published today shows the group wearing uniforms that included swastika armbands and the imperial eagle.
Witness Craig MacKenzie said: “Once in the supermarket, I said to them that they were being highly disrespectful and had no idea what their uniforms meant.”
‘The blokes told me that it was ‘only a joke’ and to f*** off. I persisted, saying that there could be people here who went through World War II and the Holocaust.
‘They laughed it off and told me to f*** off again.’
Other shoppers were intimidated by the incident, MacKenzie added.
The incident can be revealed ahead of a report due to be released on Monday detailing anti-Semitic incidents in Australia over the past 12 months, compiled by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
Jewish groups have warned the use of Nazi symbolism was on the rise, and last year’s report chronicled a substantial increase in anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and threats by phone, email and posters.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim said it was “truly bizarre” that some people are “so ignorant of history, or so oblivious to the gruesome butchery of the Nazi genocide, that they apparently think that walking around in SS uniforms with swastika armbands is just a bit of harmless fun”.
“Perhaps a visit to the Auschwitz extermination camp or the crematorium at Theresienstadt would jolt them back into reality,” Wertheim said in a statement.
Jennifer Huppert, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, said there was a “lack of understanding” about the impact of Nazi memorabilia, costumes and symbols, and a growing “disconnect” with the Holocaust.
“It’s not a matter just for the Jewish community, Australians fought in that war for freedom against Nazis. These people probably don’t even know their own grandparents fought in a war against the people in those uniforms,” she added.
Last month, eight swastikas were painted on the Nylex building in Melbourne’s south-east, alongside other white supremacist graffiti. During the federal election Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s campaign posters were defiled with Nazi symbols.
The “Right Wing Resistance”, a far-right group founded by Kyle Chapman, a neo-Nazi from New Zealand, and has chapters in Australia, Sweden, and Scotland, is believed to be behind some of the attacks.