“Some Things Simply Should Not Be Traded” writes EU Jewish Head to Munich Auction House Ahead of Nazi Memorabilia Sale.

November 11, 2019

“Some Things Simply Should Not Be Traded” writes EU Jewish Head to Munich Auction House Ahead of Nazi Memorabilia Sale.

As Europe marked the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin has had to write to a Munich Auction house asking them to cancel the sale of items belonging to infamous Nazis Hess, Goring, Himmler and Hitler himself.

Hermann Historica will be holding an auction on the 20th November that includes a number of pieces for sale from the Nazi leadership including framed photographs, silver dinner services, plates, letters and Jewellery belonging to Goring’s wife.

In his letter to the Auction House, Rabbi Margolin said:

“I am writing to respectfully ask you to withdraw the auction. This is not a legal appeal to you, but very much a moral one. What you are doing is not illegal, but it is wrong.

“I need not remind you of the many millions of lives lost as a result of national socialism, nor of the approximately six million Jewish lives that were lost due to mindless antisemitic hatred. This is history.

“Yet today, across Europe and including Germany (which now has the highest recorded cases in Europe), antisemitism in on the rise, and 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. The trade therefore in such items should simply not take place.

“In Israel recently there was a case of a letter written by a child murdered in the holocaust that was put up for sale. This went to court, and the ensuing public pressure resulted in the cancelling of the sale. The message from society was clear and unambiguous: some things simply cannot be traded.

“It is in this spirit of understanding that I ask you again to withdraw the Nazi auction items, again not because of any illegality, but instead to send a message that some things particularly when so metaphorically blood soaked, should not and must not be traded.” 

Rabbi Margolin letter:

Some of the items on sale can be viewed here

Additional Articles

Chairman of EJA, Rabbi Margolin's Words on the Latest Poll on Antisemitism

Have you ever been stuck in a dire situation where someone wants to help you with a problem, but you know their approach isn’t going to work? And you don’t want to offend them by saying as much as their intentions are good?

In ordinary life, it’s a dilemma. But when it comes to the Millions of Jews living in Europe, the time for such niceties and politeness is now officially over.

On Tuesday, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and the European Commission published their second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU. The FRA’s director said the findings “make for a sobering read”.  That would be understatement.

With 28% of respondents indicating that they have been harassed at least once in the past year, with 79% of Jews who experienced anti-Semitic harassment in the past five years not reporting this to the police or another organisation, with 34% avoiding visiting Jewish events or sites because they do not feel safe, with 38% considering emigrating because they did not feel safe as Jews in Europe, and with 70% considering that efforts by Member States to combat Antisemitism are not effective, this is not sobering. This is an unmitigated disaster.

The report, as brutal and stark as its findings are did not shock me in the slightest. It simply confirmed all the feedback, all the phone calls and all the reports that we at the Europaen Jewish Association had been getting, and made the red lines that we ratified at our conference in November all the more pertinent and pressing.

Before we get to the red lines, let us ask the most pressing question. Why is Europe failing so badly in making Jews feel secure? It does after all say all the right words, publishes reports and invests in people to fight the scourge of this oldest hatred. How can it be that 70% of Jews don’t believe it will make a difference?

The answer is wrapped up in the same word that entangles much of the good intentions of the EU institutions, and that word is competence.

Competence is basically which areas the EU can have a say (or interfere depending on your position). So, the EU can, if you are a Member State, tell you how many fish you can catch a year but not where your army should be deployed. It happens that human rights and freedom of religion, indeed the very subject of antisemitism itself is not an EU Competence. That means in essence that all the fine words, all the reports, and all of the various agencies looking at this in Brussels cannot compel, sanction or effectively reprimand any breaches. That, therefore,  makes human rights, freedom of religion and antisemitism voluntary instead of compulsory and open to interpretation or political manipulation.

That’s problem number one. For example, during the religious slaughter debate in Denmark, it was said that animal welfare takes precedence over Freedom of Religion. When it comes to circumcision, a similar argument over the right of the child to choose is being habitually made, in many countries. We can, and often do, get into public discourse of the minutiae of such debates, on scientific, health and any number of grounds, but this misses the central point. Is Freedom of Religion (and freedom to practise) a fundamental right or not? Everyone says so, so it must be right? Then why are we, as a Jewish Association engaged every year in efforts across the continent to defend Kosher slaughter and Brit Milah? It is increasingly apparent that there is nobody to police, much less defend, this vital part of the foundation on which the EU is built.  We as Jews are left with the Animal Farm scenario, where “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

The other words that get us all tangled up are political and expediency. And this is problem number two, that of Anti-Zionism/Anti-Israelism. It is clear in a number of countries, and from the EU’s own statistics from the last few years, that there are massive spikes in anti-Semitism whenever Israel is involved in defensive actions, such as operations in Gaza, or efforts to break the navy blockade. The BDS movement, and their followers in the left wing stir up hate speech, draw false parallels with South Africa under apartheid and raise modern blood libels. Anti-Zionism is, make no mistake, the modern ‘acceptable’ face of anti-Semitism. Looking at the report, over 85% of respondents in Belgium and France feel that the arab-Israeli conflict affects their feelings of safety “a great deal”. Whether you support the Israeli government or not, whether you are secular or not, that Israel affects you as a Jew is undeniable.

Which makes the EU’s position on the matter all the more ridiculous. Anti-Semitism is a no-no, but criticism of Israel is free speech. This from the mouth of the EU’s High Representative herself. Where is the red line on this free speech? Does it stop at Jewish Nazi? Zionist child killer? Israeli Organ harvester? There isn’t a clear answer, allowing the Israel haters and the modern anti-Semites in the far left and BDS movement to act and talk with impunity.

Let us recap. On two of the biggest touch-paper issues affecting anti-Semitism across the continent – whether real or perceived – the EU is either incapable in the first instance, and unwilling for the sake of political expediency to act on the second. 

As I opened with, the time for niceties is over. Nobody is questioning the intentions of the European Institutions and European countries to tackle the problem, and we genuinely thank them for this commitment, but you can’t and wont tackle the oldest hatred leaving the competence question open ,nor by maintaining a two-faced approach to anti-Semitism where Israel is concerned. It really is the political equivalent of using a bucket to take the water out of a boat, without blocking the hole in the first place!

And that right there – those two gaping holes in the hull – are why the Jews interviewed by the survey – all 70% of us – don’t have any faith that efforts will be effective.

So, what can be done? The EJA sent every European political party “Jewish Red Lines” that were ratified by democratic vote by our members across Europe.  None of them are rocket science, but they can and would plug the holes.

Our members said that Political parties and their leadership must sign up to the full IHRA definition of Anti-semitism. That Every European Country must appoint a dedicated Special Representative to combat anti-Semitism where one already doesn’t exist. That all political parties pledge to exclude from government parties or politicians that espouse anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA definition. That all political parties must pass, in accordance with their respective rules of procedure, binding resolutions that reject BDS activities as fundamentally anti-Semitic, and lastly that all political parties support in writing and in party documents their support for freedom of religion and freedom of practice at Member State level and EU level.

These red lines are the bare minimum that is needed to make a real difference. Europe’s principal leaders and parties were sent them, will be aware of them, and should adopt them immediately if they are serious about tackling anti-Semitism and gaining the trust of Jews who feel literally cast adrift from the very people who tell them they want to help.  If you really want to help us, the message is clear. Listen to us, adopt the red lines and let’s consign reports like this to the dustbin of history. Otherwise, expect a worse report next year. And the year after that too.

i24

Des centaines de dirigeants visiteront l'ancien camp de concentration de Theresienstadt

“Ce qui s’est passé à Terezin est le meilleur exemple des conséquences que peuvent entraîner les fake news”

120 dirigeants, parlementaires et diplomates de toute l’Europe se sont réunis à Prague pour visiter l’ancien camp de concentration de Theresienstadt, où ils allumeront des bougies à la mémoire des 80 000 victimes juives, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale dédiée à la mémoire des victimes de la Shoah qui aura lieu vendredi.

L’Union des organisations juives d’Europe, qui organise l’événement, a lancé l’opération d’allumage des bougies pour la Journée internationale de la Shoah, qui sera distribuée à tous les parlements d’Europe.

Le président de l’Union des organisations juives d’Europe, le rabbin Menachem Margolin, a déclaré à l’ouverture de la conférence que ce qui s’est passé à Terezin est le meilleur exemple des conséquences que peuvent entraîner les fake news. Les nazis ont utilisé le camp comme une “vitrine” pour conjurer les critiques internationales sur les mauvais traitements qu’ils infligeaient aux Juifs dans les ghettos et ont présenté des gens apparemment heureux, y compris des enfants qui mangent à leur guise et mènent diverses activités culturelles – alors que la plupart d’entre eux étaient plus tard transféré dans les camps d’extermination.

“Terezin est un camp où les nazis ont tenté de montrer par la manipulation de films et de photographies un ‘ghetto modèle'”, a-t-il déclaré.  “Aujourd’hui, dans le contexte de l’épidémie de Covid-19, de la guerre en Ukraine et de la diffamation d’Israël, les antisémites utilisent exactement les mêmes méthodes. Le Juif est le bouc émissaire. La polarisation en politique contribue à répandre l’antisémitisme. La législation contre l’abattage rituel en Europe s’inscrit dans cette ambiance. De moins en moins de Juifs en Europe se permettent de montrer leur judéité sans crainte. Si les Juifs quittent l’Europe, ce sera un très mauvais signal de l’état du continent”, a-t-il expliqué.

Margolin a appelé à une coopération entre les parlements, les gouvernements européens et les communautés juives pour lutter contre l’antisémitisme.

46% des incidents antisémites en 2022 ont eu lieu en Europe et 39 % en Amérique du Nord. La propagande occupe 39% des actes antisémites, le vandalisme 28%, les violences physiques 14%, les violences verbales 11% et la délégitimation 7%, a indiqué le nouveau rapport de l’Organisation sioniste mondiale pour l’antisémitisme.

i24

Belgium Government to Remove Army Protection at Jewish Institutions on 1st Sep Despite On-Going Threat Status

Head of European Jewish Association rails against decision, saying it makes ‘Zero sense’ and adding that in absence of providing alternative security arrangements, it leaves Jews “wide open with a target sign on our backs”.
Brussels 23 June 2021. In Belgium the security threat is currently medium according to the metrics provided by governments own Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (CUTA). But for Jewish Communities, as well as the American and Israeli embassies, the threat remains “serious and probable”.
It was therefore with great alarm that the European Jewish Association, through its partner organisation the Jewish Forum of Antwerp and Belgian MP Michael Freilich, learned that the Belgian government was removing army protection from Jewish buildings and institutions starting on 1st September. The decision was taken without consultation with Jewish communities and without a suitable alternative being proposed.
Army presence at Jewish Buildings has been in place since the Brussels terror attacks and Jewish Museum murders.
In a statement today, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin said,
“The Belgian Government has up until now been exemplary in its protection of Jewish Communities. In fact, we at the European Jewish Association have held up the Belgian example as one to be emulated by other Member States. For this dedication to keeping us safe and secure we have always expressed out utmost gratitude and appreciation.
Is it also because of this dedication that the decision to remove the army on September 1st makes Zero sense. Unlike the US and Israeli embassies, Jewish communities do not have access to any State security apparatus. Not only that but while the threat may be medium for Belgium, for Jews the threat is both serious and probable according to the data provided to the government by their own agency, the Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis.
It is alarming too that Jewish communities have not even been properly consulted about this move. Nor is the government presently proposing any alternatives. As of now, it leaves Jews wide open and with a target on our backs.
Anti-semitism is increasing in Europe, not decreasing. Belgium, sadly is not immune to this. The pandemic, the recent Gaza operation and its fallout are worrying Jews enough as it is, without this even added to the equation. Worse, it sends a signal to other European countries to do likewise. I am urging the Belgian government to reconsider this decision or at the very least offer a solution in its stead.”
 
Rabbi Margolin has written to the Belgium Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden, seeking an urgent meeting and asking for the move to be reconsidered:m v 23_6

Greetings for the Upcoming Rosh HaShanah by President of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, H.E. Mr. Gitanas Nausėda

https://www.facebook.com/ejassociation/videos/547439039345968/

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