02/28/21: Toy industry leaders are distancing themselves from a new toy "historical collectable" that has come to light, as part of a growing market trend of so-called Nazi memorabilia. According to an industry leading website, a toy company recently released "construction sets depicting leaders and vehicles of Nazi Germany".
Coincidentally, in an interview with Caryn Lieberman on Global News last week on a similar issue, I denounced the growing global trade of Nazi memorabilia, particularly at auction houses. I observed that no other genocide in history has ever had its propaganda items and products sold on the international market. Nazi items are inherently connected to the antisemitic regime.
In communication with an industry leading organization, we discussed their recent coverage about the release of a new toy collectable car that was used by Nazi Germany. In an important disclaimer that may impact the industry, the organization said it does "not support any products depicting or inspired by symbols, people, or events that represent the ideologies of white supremacy, Nazi, or like-minded groups. There are many examples of toys that can be used as teaching tools for kids, but we do not consider products based on these beliefs appropriate in today’s political and social climate".
With the rising tide of white supremacy and Nazi ideology, there seems to be a growing social interest in Nazi memorabilia and collectibles. While this in itself is abhorrent given the crimes of this murderous regime, the greater concern of course is that toys and depictions of Nazi items could influence children and youth who lack context about the atrocities committed.
On many occasions, I have come across youth who had spray painted Nazi graffiti on buildings, without fully comprehending its meaning. They were influenced by peers and Nazi propaganda images without an historical context.
The problem is worse than a single toy company or an auction house. The international marketplace is quickly expanding as few laws are in place to prevent the continued infusion of this hateful ideology into the cultural and social sphere. It's time for governments to set new laws in place against selling Nazi propaganda items on the open market. These items belong in museums and educational facilities.
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