Jewish group condemns Nazi auction in Germany | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Jewish group condemns Nazi auction in Germany

Associated Press
1969380_web1_1969380-1b32604f5c54495b8d54eca808317f14
dpa
An empolyee holds a wallet and a strawhat that belonged to Eva Braun the wife of Adolf Hitler prior to an auction in Grasbrunn, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. A Jewish group has sharply condemned an auction of Nazi memorabilia in Germany.
1969380_web1_1969380-0b8979803aef48d399922d5d69221ba7
dpa
A man holds a hat with the initials of Adolf Hitler prior to an auction in Grasbrunn, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 201, 2019. A Jewish group has sharply condemned an auction of Nazi memorabilia in Germany.
1969380_web1_1969380-f76e127e279c4a7abaa7f674624aba41
dpa
Empolyees hold a cocktail dress, a wallet and a strawhat that belonged to Eva Braun the wife of Adolf Hitler prior to an auction in Grasbrunn, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. A Jewish group has sharply condemned an auction of Nazi memorabilia in Germany.

BERLIN — A Jewish group condemned an auction of Nazi memorabilia in Germany on Wednesday that included items such as Adolf Hitler’s top hat, a silver-plated edition of his book “Mein Kampf” and a black cocktail dress owned by his long-time partner Eva Braun.

“It’s wrong to make money off these blood-soaked items, especially in Germany of all places,” the European Jewish Association, or EJA, said about the auction at Hermann Historica in Munich.

In a letter to the auction house earlier this month, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the chairman of the EJA, had asked Hermann Historica to cancel the auction given the millions who lost their lives during the Nazi years including around 6 million Jews in death camps. He also said that the sale was inappropriate in light of the rise in anti-Semitism across Europe.

“We believe the sale of such memorabilia has little intrinsic historical value but instead will be bought by those who glorify and seek to justify the actions of the greatest evil to affect Europe,” he said.

The auction house’s owner, Bernhard Pacher, rejected the criticism, telling The Associated Press that his house goes to “great lengths” to make sure people who purchase items at their auctions are not neo-Nazis.

“The overwhelming majority of buyers are national and international museums and research facilities, plus some well-recognized collectors,” he said.

Customers who participated at the auction in Munich in person had to sign papers stating they do not adhere to Nazi ideology, Parcher added. However, he conceded that the screening process for online customers, who could also participate in the auction, was less strict.

In a response to the European Jewish Association’s demand to cancel the auction — obtained by the AP — Parcher writes that the items “bring to life that the worst perpetrators of the worst crimes in history presented themselves in everyday apparel that you and I could have worn.”

Referring to Hitler’s top hat that was up for auction, Parcher wrote: “There is a strange fascination emanating from the cylinder that Hitler wore when being sworn in as Reichskanzler in 1933.”

“Blood-soaked as it is, the item brings to life past events, it makes history tangible, but it does in no way glorify its bearer,” he wrote in the letter.

Hermann Historica has a long tradition of dealing with Nazi memorabilia. In 2016, it auctioned off one of Hitler’s uniforms for 275,000 euros ($304,270).

In 1987, the auction house sold Hitler’s typewriter and 69 items once owned by the Nazi dictator, and in 1988, they sold jewelry, an oil portrait, the passport and last letter by Braun before she committed suicide together with Hitler on April 30, 1945, a day after they married and shortly before Germany surrendered in World War II.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.