Germany Nazi Auction

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. The European Jewish Association condemned the auction Wednesday at Hermann Historica in Munich, saying that “it’s wrong to make money off these blood-soaked items, especially in Germany of all places". (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — 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 Wednesday’s 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.

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