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Proposed antisemitic laws welcomed


The South Australian Government’s decision to ban Nazi symbols has been welcomed by the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre (AHMSEC).

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At the launch of the proposed legislation at the museum today, Attorney General Kyam Maher said the hatred and atrocities committed in Nazi Germany in World War II stood as a testament to what happens when “we are not vigilant about protecting diversity”.

He said a parliamentary committee had found a rise in extreme and hateful behaviour and the Government needed to make sure that people were aware it’s “just not on”.

The legislation would align the state with counterparts across the nation, with fines of up to $20,000 and up to one-year imprisonment for the public display of the Nazi symbol and salute.

Greg Adams, chair of AHMSEC, said the move emphasised the urgency of such measures.

“The surge in antisemitism and white nationalism over recent years has underscored the need for robust action,” Mr Adams said.

“The proposed laws are crucial in safeguarding the security and well-being of the Jewish community.”

“It’s 2023 and we’re seeing self-described Nazis openly organising, sometimes in public,” Mr Adams said.

“We’re all shocked, but certainly not surprised.”

Mr Adams referred to an incident last year when four people took photos of themselves giving the Nazi salute outside the museum and the placing of antisemitic stickers on the museum building, which is owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Holocaust survivor Andrew Steiner also commended the Government for its commitment to tackling the issue but added that interfaith relations and education were most important. He thanked the Archdiocese for its support of AHMSEC and said there were plans to expand the museum next year.

A display featuring Anne Frank’s room.

AHMSEC is currently hosting visiting exhibition ‘The Life Story of Anne Frank’ which contains historical information that allows visitors to identify with her story of living in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation.

Large-size pictures show Anne’s happy early childhood in Frankfurt, followed by her immigration to Amsterdam and her time in hiding.

The exhibition, which concludes on January 28, also connects with young people’s experience of discrimination and hatred today by featuring contemporary stories of prejudice and exclusion.

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