Elsternwick, VIC – An elderly Jewish woman whose family survived the Holocaust was terrified when a balding Neo-Nazi said ‘Heil Hitler’ to her as she shopped at Coles in Melbourne.
The woman, in her 70s, was at the supermarket in Elsternwick, south-east of the CBD, and in the heart of the city’s Jewish community – in December when a stranger noticed her Star of David jewellery.
As the man passed her in the aisle, he did the Nazi salute and walked away.
‘As a child of Holocaust survivors who fled Europe to give their family a peaceful life, it brought back all the traumas of my past – my parent’s guilt for surviving the Holocaust and their struggles.’
She described the man as tall, middle-aged, balding, and wearing a dark jacket.
The woman said she would not stop wearing the Star of David, but she was traumatised by the incident.
Dr Abramovich told Daily Mail Australia the elderly victim felt as though she had been ‘stabbed in the heart’.
‘I’ve never heard of a Jewish woman being confronted like that, and she never thought it would happen in Australia in 2022,’ he said.
‘She’s scared it will happen again and that she’ll see that man again.’
Dr Abramovich said the incident stems from a growing number of antisemitic acts reported in Victoria.
‘To openly do the Nazi salute in a supermarket at the heart of the Jewish community shocks the conscience and demonstrates that these Hitler worshipper are less inhibited about expressing their savage, dangerous sentiments in public,’ he said.
‘Such violent gestures not only scar and traumatise the victims but shake the affected community and leave many scared and vulnerable.’
Daily Mail Australia contacted Coles for comment.