Neo-Nazis prompt SA parliamentary inquiry

A neo-Nazi gathering outside an Adelaide Holocaust museum has prompted the state government to establish a parliamentary committee inquiry into the use of extremist symbolism.

Sep 02, 2022, updated Sep 02, 2022
Adelaide Holocaust Museum director Kathy Baykitch (left) and chair Nicola Zuckerman. Photo: Jason Katsaras/InDaily

Adelaide Holocaust Museum director Kathy Baykitch (left) and chair Nicola Zuckerman. Photo: Jason Katsaras/InDaily

The Adelaide Holocaust Museum & Steiner Education Centre said that it was the victim of “vile anti-Semitism” when a group of neo-Nazis took photographs of them giving fascist salutes outside its premises, with the images appearing on extremist social media.

Today,  Multicultural Affairs Minister Zoe Bettison said that a Parliamentary inquiry will investigate neo-Nazi symbols, the activities of extremist groups, discrimination faced by targeted groups and the prohibition on symbols in other states.

The Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland Parliaments have all undertaken inquiries into bans on the displays of Neo-Nazi symbols.

Director at the Adelaide Holocaust Museum Kathy Baykitch said she was “horrified” by the latest affront, coming soon after the museum was targeted by a racist sticker.

“After 83 years from the start of the Second World War, it’s almost unthinkable that in 2022 we’re still having to deal with this,” Baykitch said.

She said the museum which operates educational programs on the Holocaust for school aged children is now in constant communication with  police.

“We’ve also had a lot of support from people in the community and a lot of heartfelt messages today from people reaching out and also supporting the museum standing up against this type of behavior,” she said.

“Extremist groups are active and organising in online spaces, these disgusting acts of racist vandalism bring to the fore the critical importance of supporting the education of young people through our programs.”

A neo-Nazi sticker on an East End wall. Photo: InDaily

Bettison said recent neo-Nazi activities prompted the inquiry.

“I have been concerned for some time about the National Socialist network ,” she said.

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“We have had increased activities, but not necessarily more people being more active.

“We really must have our voices speak very strongly against that this is not who we are, we are a multicultural society.”

Holocaust Museum chair Nicola Zuckerman said she hopes constructive solutions are found from the committee.

“I hope what comes out of it is a meaningful definition as to what Nazi symbols are, what that symbolism actually is and what other kinds of behaviors come under that definition,” she said.

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