8 April 2005
BRUSSELS – Nazi memorabilia prohibited by law in Belgium is being sold on some Belgian websites, La Libre Belgique reported Friday.
The newspaper does not name any specific web addresses, but reports that one Belgian site aimed at collectors recently listed for sale items such as an SS insignia and even guns.
A representative of the site named Sebastian Delcampe told the newspaper that because Belgian laws on Nazi collections are very fuzzy, it has enlisted a lawyer to draft a charter.
International auction websites such as eBay on the other hand have always when very strict about allowing any questionable items on their websites to avoid trouble with the law.
“We have a thousand or so people worldwide responsible for ‘cleaning’ lists of objects put up for sale,” said Tanguy Peers, director of eBay Belgium.
“If a questionable object appears, then it’s very rapidly removed from sale.”
But Michel Vergotte, a lawyer with eBay, explained that there is no Belgian law laying down precise rules for such situations.
While there are laws against racism (1981) and outlawing denial of the Holocaust (1995) there is still no specific law preventing the sale of Nazi memorabilia.
But it seems that even where there is vigilance there are also loopholes.
Several years ago Amazon.fr, the French website of the online book and DVD retailer, expunged all ‘doubtful contents’ from its site, including some works signed by revisionist Holocaust scholar Robert Faurisson, but only those in French and not in English.
“An oversight?” La Libre Belgique newspaper asked.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news