A German sniper’s bullet-blasted helmet, with a revenge inscription inside, shocked a Whanganui auctioneer more than the Nazi insignias on some items he will sell this weekend.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Jewish Council, Juliet Moses, said the items had abhorrent associations for a lot of New Zealanders, Jewish and non-Jewish.

“It is important that people do understand the Holocaust context and that this stuff is not glorified in any way.

“There are some parallels with the debate going on about the statues of influential people who are now being looked at in a different way,” she said.

“You can’t erase it and don’t want to erase it, but there is a concern if people don’t understand what went on and what these things symbolise, the same as with the statues.”

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