Christchurch far-right activist Kyle Chapman selling Nazi toy figures in New Zealand

A prominent New Zealand far-right activist is selling plastic Nazi toy figures, including miniature models of Adolf Hitler.

Kyle Chapman, the former skinhead and leader of the far-right National Front white nationalist group, is selling the plastic figures online.

The New Zealand Jewish Council and the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand have branded the figures “disgusting” and called for them to be removed from sale.

Operating on Facebook Marketplace, Chapman has been advertising a range of World War II figures, alongside Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and other children’s characters.

Included in his offerings are a range of Nazi figures.

A “big WW2 German set” which shows the “High Command and the Elite Guards defending the last position in Berlin” comes complete with red-and-black German flags and other insignia, including black-clad troops with SS insignia armbands, behind sandbags and fortifications.

There is also Hitler holding a pistol, making his last stand.

The toy set was posted on October 15, 2019 – exactly seven months after the March 15, 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, where a lone gunman murdered 51 Muslims during Friday prayer.

After the attacks, 49-year-old Chapman claimed he’d turned his back on neo-Nazi affiliations.

He told the Herald in July 2019 that he was keeping a low profile: “I don’t really get out and about, I just hang out with my family and that’s about it.”

When approached by the Herald today, Chapman defended his products.

“It’s just business, mate,” he said.

“It’s not Nazi-themed, it’s just World War II stuff. There’s British stuff, German stuff, Russian stuff. Just like in World War II, there’s different sides.

“I just sell stuff that is already produced – I just pass it on.”

Asked where he imports the items from, he replied: “Mainly from different companies in China and America.”

“If somebody gets offended by history, I really can’t do anything about that,” Chapman said.

“[People] take offence from absolutely anything – you can’t even call a woman a woman anymore, it’s pretty pathetic.”

Chapman, who has stood unsuccessfully for the mayoralty of Christchurch three times, said children would like the figures “because they want to play good guys versus bad guys, that’s the way it works”.

“There’s no point having a whole army of British guys if they’ve got nobody to fight,” he said.

“I’m not a Nazi – I’m against Nazis. I actually believe that freedom and people’s right to choose is always acceptable, no matter what politically-correct left-wingers say. I think that people are just turning into a bunch of pussies really, and they’ve got to accept that life is life and history is history. You can’t change history – that’s what the Nazis did, they tried changing history.”

He added: “I find the left-wing way of trying to control people and tell them what to do very offensive… as far as I’m concerned, it’s on par with Nazi Germany.”

After speaking to the Herald, the site was disabled.

Chris Harris, chief executive of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, said Facebook needed to step in to remove the items.

“It has no place in our communities whatsoever,” he said.

He was disgusted that anyone could comment it was “cool” and that people would even inquire about purchasing it.

“This is the sort of thing we’ve seen more and more of since March 15 – glorification of Nazism, people selling replicas or recreating swastika flags – it’s really seen an increase in this type of material being sold.

“We just need to keep on removing this sort of thing from the street.”

Juliet Moses, spokeswoman for the New Zealand Jewish Council, said while it’s not illegal to trade in such figures in New Zealand, they have been outlawed in other countries.

“You would just have to hope that people who see this understand the context and that it’s glorifying Nazis,” she said.

“The issue will be people who don’t understand that, especially if kids see it and think it just looks normal … and that is a concern.”

She added: “It’s frightening that this type of glorification continues to happen.”

A spokesman for Facebook in New Zealand said everything on Facebook Marketplace must follow its “community standards”.

“These standards include a section on dangerous individuals and organisations, which includes organised hate,” he said.

Facebook’s prohibited content policy states that listings may not contain “misleading, violent, or hateful products and offers”.

A Lego spokeswoman said the items have “absolutely nothing” to do with the popular global toy brand.

“The bricks aren’t Lego bricks, the set isn’t designed by us, and the business is not affiliated with us in any way,” she said.

Nazi-themed characters have surfaced several times over the years around the world.

In 2014, internet auction site eBay removed characters depicting Hitler and Nazi figures – even a concentration camp officer.

And in 2017, a German father campaigned to stop similar figures being sold on Amazon.

Two years ago, online shopping platform giant Ali Express followed suit, removing a toy set featuring figures wearing Nazi SS uniforms and a miniature Hitler after receiving complaints.

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