Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 - 15 of Kislev, 5781

Munich auction house under fire again for selling Nazi memorabilia

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Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association, said with German antisemitism on the rise, the auction “defies logic, decency and humanity” and helps legitimize “a culture of Hitler enthusiasts”, calls on people to not participate in “this unethical auction”.

Less than a month since the head of Germany’s domestic security agency has warned that Jews in Germany are facing increasing levels of anti-Semitism, a Munich-based auction house is under fire, again, for selling Nazi memorabilia, this time including various speaking notes from Adolf Hitler.

The auction house, Hermann Historica,  came already under fire in November 2019 for a similar auction, whose lots ended up being bought by a Lebanese businessman, Abdallah Chatila, who then donated them to Yad Vashem to do with as they saw fit.

Following the fallout of the last auction, the European Jewish Association (EJA) has been pushing European lawmakers to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia as part of an overall plan to tackle antisemitism across the continent.

In a statement EJA Chairman Rabbi Margolin said: “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. What auctions like this do help legitimise Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff.’’

He added: “Last year a miracle in the form of Mr Abdallah Chatila stepped in. But we cannot rely on miracles going forwards. We understand 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. We also ask our supporters 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.”

Earlier this month, a young Jewish man sustained severe head injuries after he was assaulted with a spade outside a synagogue in the northern German city of Hamburg on Sunday afternoon in what politicians have condemned as a “disgusting” antisemitic attack.

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