Assemblies in a synagogue in Brisbane were confronted with the sight of a Nazi flag waving from a nearby apartment window, a local Jewish leader said.
Visitors to the synagogue reported seeing the swastika symbol hanging from a UniLodge complex on Margaret St in the CBD Saturday morning, Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies Vice President Jason Steinberg told AAP.
“This flag and the symbol, the Nazi swastika symbol, represent one of the most vicious moments in human history,” Mr Steinberg said on Saturday.
“Appearing in 2021 in Brisbane over a synagogue is just cruel.”
Queensland Police confirmed that they went to the apartment, seized the flag and issued the resident a notice to show up for public nuisance.
But Steinberg wants state laws to be changed to make it clear that the symbol is unacceptable.
“The state parliament is reviewing the hate crime legislation as we speak,” he said.
“We called for the ban on displaying the swastika and Nazi flags like this because at the moment … it does not violate the serious law of hatred or slander.”
Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner described the show as “sickly” and “pure evil”.
“Under current inadequate laws, this is likely to be classified as nothing more than a low-level ‘public nuisance’. Not good enough!” he wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Queensland multicultural affairs minister Leanne Linard also took to social media to call the “shameful” act.
“Incidents like this are the reason why the Palaszczuk government launched an investigation into serious slander and hate crime,” Ms Linard wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
“It’s not who we are as Queenslanders and should be called out on every occasion.”
On November 9, the Jewish community commemorates the Crystal Night, or the Night with the Broken Glass, in 1938.
Nazis flew with their flags in German streets and smashed synagogue windows on a violent night that effectively marked the beginning of the Holocaust, Steinberg said.
“Of course I’m not saying we live in Nazi Germany, but seeing it brings us as a society into the realization that there are people on the streets of Brisbane who hate Jews,” Steinberg said.
“And it’s not a nice feeling.”