The Shmooze

Toy Nazi Soldiers for Sale in Rome

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Travelers preparing to take a train from Rome’s Termini Station can grab some food at a kiosk and pick up a magazine at a newsstand there. And while they’re at it, they can also buy for themselves some Nazi dolls as souvenirs of their stay in the Eternal City.

Barak Talmor, an Israeli studying in Rome, happened upon a shop next to the station in central Rome selling dolls (more like toy soldiers) dressed in SS uniforms. From the photos Talmor took and sent to Israel’s Channel 2 News, it appears that many are holding flags or standards with swastikas. Some are marching while others riding atop tanks. There is even one of Hitler himself giving the Nazi salute as he stands in the front seat of an open-top car.

Talmor reported that the saleswomen in the store responded to his inquiry as to why they were selling such merchandise by saying, “From our point of view, we’re talking about history, so there is no problem with selling this stuff.” They also mentioned that business was brisk among young Italian and German tourists—people who seem to think that these figurines are cool, but don’t have any inkling of what it was like to have real-life Nazis on parade.


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