A swastika on President Donald Trump's cherubic arm in an Auckland menswear shop advertisement was "grossly inappropriate", says a group committed to remembering the killing of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is relieved the "evil" symbol has been removed from the window of Masons Menswear in Ponsonby, but the organisation will keep watch in case it returns.

The centre's deputy chairwoman, Dianne Davis, said she was told of the swastika yesterday.

Stuff reported that the shop was carrying a poster bearing the image of Trump's head on the body of a cherub on whose arm the swastika was superimposed.


The shop was closed this afternoon, its phone went unanswered, and, when the Herald visited, the poster was still in the window, but the swastika had gone.

Davis said the swastika display was "grossly inappropriate". A person would have to be "historically unintelligent" not to recognise what the swastika represented, particularly for Jewish people.

She was relieved it had been removed from public display, "because it is a symbol that is replete with evil and brutality for the Jewish people".

"It is a symbol that is replete with horror for us.

"The Jewish community in New Zealand is very close. We anticipate members would keep us fully apprised of what happens with that particular business."

Davis said it was unusual for a swastika to be displayed in public in New Zealand.

"Obviously we are seeing more incidents of this in Europe and parts of the US with the rise of nationalism and increasing anti-semitic activity which is a concern to us.

"In New Zealand there are individuals and small, small cadres of neo-nazi sympathisers who would use that symbol but in terms of public displays it's very much the exception which is a positive thing."


The centre's board would decide next week whether to make a formal complaint about the shop's displaying a swastika.

The Advertising Standards Authority has not received any complaints about the poster.

"It [complaints about swastikas] is not something we've had any experience with since I have been at the ASA, which is quite a long time," said executive director Hilary Souter said

The US Embassy in Wellington declined to comment.