A German auction of items such as Adolf Hitler’s hat and partner Eva Braun’s dresses has been sharply criticised by the European Jewish Association (EJA).
The EJA argued the items have little historical value, and would be bought by individuals who glorify Nazism.
The organisation asked Munich-based Hermann Historica to stop the auction, but it went ahead.
A silver-covered edition of Hitler’s autobiographical “Mein Kampf” was also among the items for sale.
A silver letter seal belonging to Eva Braun has sold for €10,500 (£9,003), while a silver-framed and signed photograph of Hitler sold for $46,000 (£39,442).
The chairman of the EGA, Rabbi Menachem Margolin wrote an open letter to German political leaders expressing his concerns.
Mr Margolin argued the auction is an “opportunity for people to glorify, show adulation and sentimentality for the Nazis”.
He added: “I understand that it is not illegal to buy and sell Nazi memorabilia… this is not a legal request but a moral one. It is wrong”.
The director of the auction house, Bernhard Pacher, told DPA news agency: “The largest part of the customers who shop with us are museums, state collections and private collectors who really meticulously deal with the subject”.
He added there would be strict controls on the auction, to “prevent the wrong people from getting it”.
Other auction items which belonged to Adolf Hitler include a hand-written letter, a silver cigar box from his personal collection and a rental agreement for an apartment in Munich.
The 147 items specifically related to the Third Reich are part of a larger auction of over 800 German historical collectibles from 1919 onwards.
The article was published on the BBC
During a press conference in Vienna on the 24th of August 2020, Karl Nehammer, Minister of the Interior, Karoline Edtstadler, Minister for the EU and Constitutional Affairs, Susanne Raab, Minister for Women and Integration, and Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community in Vienna, as well as Elie Rosen, President of the Jewish Community Graz, commented on last week’s attacks on a Synagogue and a LGBT rights advocacy center in Graz.
“Last week’s incidents in Graz are shocking and not acceptable. It is not solely a matter of criminal law with property damage and attempted personal injury, but first and foremost an absolutely unacceptable attack on fundamental rights and freedoms. It was an attack on the freedom of religion and the diversity of lifestyles in our society”, the Minister of Interior said. “In Austria, there is no place for Antisemitism!” Nehammer stressed that it was of importance to act quickly. “Yesterday evening, after comprehensive investigations led by the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism and the Styrian police, the offender could quickly be arrested. The offender is a 31 years old Syrian citizen, who lives and holds a refugee status in Austria since the year 2013. I want to thank all the police officers who were involved in the arrest for their efforts.” The Minister added that according to the current investigations the attacks were due to Islamist motives. The man was questioned until early morning and admitted the crimes. “Corresponding evidence was found and secured In the perpetrator’s flat.”
Uniformed and civil police officers protect all Jewish institutions in Austria
“Austria stands for freedom as well as a diverse society and is aware of its historic responsibility”, the Minister of Interior stressed. “The security of the Jewish community in Austria is especially important to us. Our police work in close collaboration with the security staff of the Jewish community to ensure their safety. I have in the meantime ordered further measures so that synagogues and other Jewish institutions will be protected by uniformed and civil police officers around the clock in the coming weeks.” Nehammer stressed that it is our joint concern that Jewish people can live in peace and security in Austria: “The Austrian Government will do everything in order to guarantee the safety of our Jewish citizens.”
It’s a challenging time for Jewish communities in Europe. Anti-Semitism is on the rise as populism and the politics of the lowest common denominator are gaining traction. Our communities often need round the clock protection and our practices and customs such as keeping Kosher are under pressure from increasing political interference.
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