Face mask with Nazi symbols removed from mannequin in Sydney Westfield store

A face mask bearing Nazi symbols has been removed from a mannequin at Westfield Miranda in Sydney.

The mask was taken down by centre management after a photo of the display was shared on Twitter, showing the mask on a mannequin as part of a display.

A Westfield Miranda spokesperson told the Guardian the mask was removed as soon as management was made aware of it.

“As soon as the centre was made aware, the team spoke with the retailer and it was immediately removed.”

Westfield corporate did not say which store had the mask on display, but said the retailer “expressed it was a genuine mistake”, and that the mask would not be available for sale.

The mask was displayed on a plain mannequin, as part of a larger display that highlighted face masks on sale.

It was spotted by shopper Aja James, who shared the image on Facebook and Instagram along with a caption calling on Westfield to “sort it out”.

“I walked past this store and admired the minimalist window display of mannequins wearing only masks, until I looked a little closer and realised the mask fabric features the symbol of the Nazi party!”

Dr Dvir Abramovich, the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, said the display of the mask reflected a casual attitude toward such symbolism.

“This is no laughing matter and takes the perverse cheapening of the Holocaust to a new low. Shame on this store for crossing all lines of moral decency and for engaging in what can only be described as beyond offensive,” he said.

“There is nothing fashionable about a symbol of a regime responsible for the extermination of 6 million Jews and millions of others.

“Offering this item is an insult to the memory of the victims, the survivors and the courageous Diggers who sacrificed their lives to defeat the Third Reich.”

On the same day, a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria recommended banning the display of Nazi symbols and iconography in the state.

The inquiry handed down its recommendations on Wednesday, proposing a series of changes to the state’s racial vilification laws that would outlaw the symbols.

In the inquiry’s report, the committee laid out its hopes that such a ban would send a “clear message” about the impacts of sharing Nazi symbolism.

“The committee believes it is important to send a clear message to the community that Nazi symbolism is not acceptable in any form and has wide-ranging, negative societal impacts.

“It recommends that the Victorian government establish a criminal offence that prohibits the display of symbols of Nazi ideology, including the Nazi swastika, with considered exceptions to the law.

“This would allow Victoria police to immediately remove Nazi symbols that are on deliberate display to vilify targeted communities.”

The Victorian government is expected to accept the recommendations and pass them into law, with the premier, Daniel Andrews, previously saying there was “no place” for such symbols in the state.

“There’s no place for those views, there’s no place for those symbols, there’s no place for those attitudes and conduct in a modern Victoria.”

Abramovich said it was “troubling” that the mask was displayed, saying it reflected a normalisation of such symbols.

“As we witness a dramatic rise in antisemitism and white supremacists’ activity in Australia, it is deeply troubling that there are companies providing another popular avenue for the Nazi swastika, and for Hitler evil ideology, to be normalised and reach a new generation of young people who may think it’s fun to wear these articles.

“I call on the store to apologise for the hurt and pain they have caused, and to ensure that such items are never offered for sale again.”

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