Friday, March 4, 2011

Kijiji Policy Change: German Second World War items no longer allowed

Vendors of war memorabilia are raising a stink over at Kijiji Canada's forum after persons unknown made a stink over some Nazi-related items being sold through the site. Now people seeking to sell WWII medals, flags, insignias and other German or Nazi-related items are having their ads summarily deleted.

One seller shared the email sent from Kijiji explaining the deletions:

Hello Gunther Dorn,

Thank you for contacting Kijiji Canada Community Support.
I will answer all of your tickets here and close the remainder.

Please accept our apologies for the change in procedure. Due to overwhelming community feedback, we are no longer permitting Nazi memorabilia, in particular with swastikas, or Second World War German military gear.

These items, although legal to own, have prompted outrage from a large portion of the population for what they remind them of. Our recommendation is that such items, rather than being sold for a profit, be bequeathed to museums for their historical value as these institutions are better equipped to educate the public on their historical significance. Alternatively, our sister site, eBay, allows most of these items on the site with a few restrictions.

Best regards,

Kijiji Community Support
It almost sounds like Kijiji is quietly ashamed that it took this action, caving to "outrage" from unnamed, uncounted complainers.

Now, Kijiji's struggle is hardly unique. According to Wikipedia:
The sale of memorabilia is prohibited in some countries in Europe. In the year 2000, in France, the Internet portal site was sued by the Union of Jewish Students and the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism for "justifying war crimes and crimes against humanity" by allowing such memorabilia to be sold via its auction pages. Yahoo!'s response was to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia through its website. In 2003, a court in Paris cleared Yahoo!

Auction website eBay also bans the sale of Nazi memorabilia.
What do you think? Are these items an unreasonable reminder of a terrible time in world history, or are they historic artifacts that should not be hidden? Should we "never forget" what happened, or should Kijiji do all it can to keep people from having to think about history?

4 Responses to “Kijiji Policy Change: German Second World War items no longer allowed”

Anonymous said...
March 6, 2011 at 8:58 PM

This is totally ridiculous.
I get that they don't want to 'encourage' neo-Nazism.
But are they banning *all* WWII items?
What about Japanesse WWII items?
Italian fascists?
How about stuff from the Viet Nam conflict?

I assume these guys aren't selling remains or looted artwork.
Are we supposed to pretend that WWII only existed for the 'winners'?

And suggesting that people send stuff to museums is fairly hilarious. They are not clearing houses for all the flotsam left over from a 6 year, global conflict.

People need to park their indignation at the door.

Anonymous said...
March 7, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Kudos to Kijiji for not being a portal for Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists to stock their collection of racist memorabilia that glorify genocide, racism and hate anonymously and for cheap. Germany and France banned the sale and possession of these items years ago - and rightfully so.

Kids visit Kijiji and these are kids who have no context of the material they're viewing and most likely buying from these people. There hundreds of suitable websites, forums, and auction houses that specialize in the sale of these items.

Unknown said...
March 8, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Great to see some thoughtful comments around here! Keep it up ... and don't be afraid to leave a name other than 'Anonymous'.

Anonymous said...
June 21, 2011 at 4:52 AM

maybe kids should be educated better.
teach them what really happened.

nothing wrong with selling nazi related war items.
people need to get a grip. its a piece of history.

you should never hide the truth from children regarding history.

like the crtc trying to control what we watch on tv. if you don't like it, change the channel.

we live in a society where people get offended
and need someone or outlet to run to and cry.

anyways im a jew, and it dosn't bother me to see
nazi items up for sale.

go ahead, buy them, its a free economy.
free country? maybe not.

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