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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum (New South Wales, Australia): Elastolin and Lineol composition soldiers collection

The museum is home to an extensive collection of Nazi-themed toys from wartime Germany that is displayed in several exhibits at the museum. According to Elizabeth Evatt, the museum's owner and director, the Nazi toy collection has been exhibited on display at the museum for over thirty years. The toys are noted for expressing symbols that are associated with the Nazi ideologies and beliefs (those unequivocally rejected today) that were present in Germany at the time the toys were created, sold and used. In 2014, the issue of the appropriateness of displaying Nazi toys and Nazi memorabilia was raised by local residents, however the museum maintained they would not remove the displays. The issue was subsequently raised by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), the representative body of the Jewish community in Australia. According to the ECAJ's report on Antisemitism in Australia, while the display of Nazi memorabilia is not illegal, it is often offensive and distressing to Holocaust survivors, their families, and to others who impacted by the savagery of the Nazi regime. An additional concern raised by the ECAJ is that Nazi toys can be used to promote and glorify hatred and violence, including racism, bigotry, and antisemitism. According to the state government agency that oversees standards for museums and galleries in New South Wales, the Leuralla displays may not be suitable for all audiences.

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