Congregants at a Brisbane synagogue were confronted by the sight of a Nazi flag flying from a nearby apartment window on Saturday.
Visitors to the synagogue reported seeing the swastika symbol hanging from a UniLodge complex on Margaret Street in the central business district on Saturday morning, the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies vice-president, Jason Steinberg, said.
“That flag and that symbol, the Nazi swastika symbol, represents one of the most evil moments in human history,” Steinberg said on Saturday. “For that to appear in 2021 in Brisbane over a synagogue is just atrocious.”
Queensland police confirmed they went to the apartment, seized the flag and issued the resident a notice to appear for public nuisance.
However, Steinberg wants the state’s laws modified to make it clear showing the symbol is unacceptable.
“The state parliament is reviewing the hate crime legislation as we speak,” he said. “We called on the banning of the swastika to be displayed and Nazi flags like this because at the moment … it doesn’t breach the serious hate or vilification law.”
The Brisbane lord mayor, Adrian Schrinner, labelled the display “sickening”.
The Queensland multicultural affairs minister, Leanne Linard, said the act was “disgraceful”.
“This is not who we are as Queenslanders and should be called out at every opportunity,” she posted on Facebook on Saturday.
On 9 November, the Jewish community remembers Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938.
Nazis flew their flag in German streets and smashed synagogue windows on an evening of violence that effectively marked the beginning of the Holocaust, Steinberg said.