German auction house slammed for selling Nazi memorabilia
EJA head: Auctions like this help to legitimize Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff; This is irresponsible.
By ILANIT CHERNICK
One of Europe’s central Jewish organizations has slammed an auction house in Germany for selling Nazi memorabilia.
Among some of the items being featured in the auction are original speaking notes from speeches given by Adolf Hitler following his rise to power.
Head of the European Jewish Association (EJA) Rabbi Menachem Margolin said he couldn’t get his “head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity” of selling such items to the highest bidder, especially when this very auction house was heavily criticized for doing the same thing last year.
He pointed out that this comes just after the head of Germany’s domestic security agency has warned that Jews in Germany are facing increasing levels of antisemitism.
Margolin said that “it defied logic, decency and humanity” that the very same auction house, Hermann Historica, which “came under fire less than a year ago for selling disgusting lots of Nazi memorabilia that they should do so again.”
“I cannot get my head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity, in such a febrile climate, of selling items such as the ramblings of the world’s biggest killer of Jews to the highest bidder,” Margolin said.
He stressed that auctions like this “help to legitimize Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff. Instead of fighting against antisemitism, you see an institution like Hermann Historica legitimize Hitler’s legacy – what a shame.”
This is not the first time that Hermann Historica has been called out for selling Nazi memorabilia.
In November last year, the Munich Auction House caused a storm for selling numerous Nazi items belonging to Hitler and his staff, which included the Nazi leader’s top hat, cigar box and typewriter. A luxury edition of Mein Kampf branded with an eagle and a swastika, which had once belonged to Nazi leader Hermann Goering was also up for auction at the time.
However, a Lebanese businessman living in Switzerland bought 10 of the items and donated them to Yad Vashem.
According to AFP, his aim for buying the items was “to keep them out of hands of neo-Nazis.”
He told Swiss weekly newspaper Le Matin Dimanche that the Nazi artifacts “should be burned,” but that “historians think that they must be kept for the collective memory.”
Referring to these events, Margolin said that “last year a miracle in the form of Mr Abdallah Chatila stepped in. But we cannot rely on miracles going forward.”
He made it clear that he understands that Covid-19 is rightly occupying the thoughts of governments and parliaments, “but we cannot allow the virus of antisemitism to grow unchecked. This auction must be stopped and we urge the government to step in.”
Margolin also called on people not to engage or participate in any way with this unethical auction.
“The message must be sent that the further development of this ‘market’ is taboo and beyond the norms of acceptability,” he concluded.