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Possible QLD bans of WW2 German symbols may also impact innocent collectors and museums

There is concern that discussions in QLD parliament regarding a ban on public displays of WW2 German symbols by extremists may overreach and unfairly impact legitimate militaria collectors, historians, re-enactors and museums. Other State parliaments have similar discussions in play apparently.

The pursuit of dangerous extremists, which is not in dispute, can surely be undertaken without impinging upon harmless collectors, historians, museums and re-enactors that may possess WW2 militaria with no nefarious intent?

Those collecting WW2 items will invariably have some German WW2 items as well, just as they may have WW2 Italian or Japanese items. This does not make them sympathisers or revisionists.

Organisations and individual collectors / military history enthusiasts that choose to harmlessly collect, display and study WW2 items of military history that include WW2 German items need to be aware of this, and if they choose, make their concerns known to Ministers and local members.

Making governments aware that there are legitimate collectors, museums, historians and re-enactors that have concerns may serve to prevent an overreach.

Possible points to make could be:

The collecting and study of WW2 military antiques, which can also include German ones, is a widespread, harmless and legitimate pursuit and / or hobby world-wide. Simply having WW2 German items does not make a person an extremist, sympathiser or revisionist.

Australian soldiers in WW2, like all Allied soldiers, were great souvenir hunters and many such items are treated as veteran bring-backs / war trophies of a defeated enemy, not as political statements. A collector will often seek to represent not just Allied forces, but also their opponents.

Military antique helmets, badges, uniforms etc are of absolutely no danger to society as part of an appropriate museum (public or private), private collection or living history display.

There are many nuances and aspects of militaria collecting and study that have absolutely nothing to do with seeking to place any contemporary political significance on an item, they are merely historical WW2 artefacts to the vast majority of collectors and military historians.

To infer affiliation, sympathy or support to extremist groups upon a legitimate collector or dealer who may happen to have WW2 German items in part of their collection is quite unfair and may even be considered defamatory.

The act of collecting, studying and preserving WW2 military history whether via public or private collections helps people to remember and to learn from the past.


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