Jewish leaders slam sale of Hitler’s watch for $1.1 million

August 1, 2022

 Jewish leaders have slammed the $1.1 million sale by a Maryland auction house of a watch given to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, United Press International reported on July 30.

Alexander Historical Auctions sold the Huber watch on July 28 “as part of a collection that included a dress belonging to Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, and other Nazi items looted from the couple’s vacation home in 1945,” said the report.

It noted that the auction house “routinely sells controversial memorabilia.”

The latest sale prompted 34 Jewish leaders to write an open letter condemning the auctioning of items “belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chair of the European Jewish Association, said in a statement: “The sale of these items is an abhorrence. There is little to no intrinsic historical value to the vast bulk of the lots on display.”

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Which European countries are best for Jews? Answers may surprise you

First-of-its-kind index is based on a study that combines polling data and policy information to create a single quality-of-life metric for Jews in the 12 European Union countries with sizable Jewish communities

Antisemitic sentiment is especially prevalent in Italy and Hungary, according to multiple surveys. But a first-of-its-kind index combining different measures of Jewish experience found that they are also the best countries in Europe for Jews to live in.

The index, unveiled Monday, is based on a study that combines polling data and policy information to create a single quality-of-life metric for Jews in the 12 European Union countries with sizable Jewish communities, according to Daniel Staetsky, a statistician with the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research who wrote the report for the European Jewish Association in Brussels.
“The goal with this report is to take the excellent data we already have about how Jews feel, about how prevalent antisemitism is, and combine it with government policy measurables,” Staetsky said during a conference held by the European Jewish Association in Budapest.
He said the results may challenge preconceptions about which EU countries are most hospitable to Jews. For example, Germany scored high when it came to government policies relating to Jews. But Jews there report a weak sense of security, leading to an overall middling score.
The index is primarily a tool “to demand concrete action from European leaders,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association. “We welcome statements against antisemitism by European leaders. But more than statements are needed.”
The European Jewish Association will make individual recommendations to each country surveyed, Margolin added at the press event. It was part of a two-day event sponsored by multiple Jewish organizations, including the Consistoire in France, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government, about how European Jewish communities can aid the one in Ukraine.
Titled “Europe and Jews, a country index of respect and tolerance towards Jews,” the study gives Belgium, Poland and France the lowest scores with 60, 66, and 68 points out of 100, respectively. The three top countries have 79, 76 and 75 points, followed by Britain and Austria (75), the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Spain (74, 73, 72, 70.)
To come up with the ranking, Staetsky gave each surveyed country grades on multiple subjects, including the Jewish sense of security, public attitudes to Jews and the number of Jews who said they’d experienced antisemitism. The grades were based on major opinion polls in recent years, including those conducted by the Action and Protection League, a group that monitors hate crimes against Jews in several European countries, and the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency.
The study combined those scores with scores the author gave to countries’ government policies, including their funding for Jewish communities, whether they had adopted a definition of antisemitism, and the status of Holocaust education and freedom of worship.
Under that scoring system, Germany received an overall score of 72 despite having the best score (89) on government performance on issues related to Jews and a solid 92 when it came to the prevalence of antisemitism. But a relatively low score on Jewish sense of security (46) hurt its overall score, among other factors.
In the case of Hungary, “the score it received reflects the reality on the ground,” according to Shlomo Koves, the head of the Chabad-affiliated EMIH umbrella group of Jewish communities in Hungary. “Jews can walk around here, go to synagogue, without the slightest fear of harassment,” he said.
But the prevalence of antisemitic sentiments in Hungarian society — an Anti-Defamation League survey from 2015 found that about 30% of the population hold them — “shows there is work to be done here, too, in education and outreach,” Koves said.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

EJA chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said this evening:
“It is with profound sadness that we learn of the passing of Rabbi Sacks.
An incredible human being, full of light, warmth and wisdom. There has seldom been such a well known, well respected and active Chief Rabbi in Europe.
His tireless work and commitment to the Jewish people meant that when he spoke, people listened.
When he pulled an alarm cord, people responded.
And when he explained the wisdom and beauty of our Holy texts, people understood.
Few of us will ever be fortunate to leave behind us such a legacy. May his memory be a blessing.”
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