Despite protests by European Jewish leaders, a gold watch belonging to Hitler was sold by an American auction house for over €1 million.
The Huber timepiece has a swastika design, as well as the initials A H. It was purchased by an anonymous bidder.
The auction took place on Friday despite the call by 34 European Jewish leaders on Alexander Historical Auctions house in Chesapeake City, Maryland, to cancel the auction.
Among other Nazi items auctioned were a dog collar belonging to Eva Braun’s terrier, Wehrmacht toilet paper and cutlery and champagne glasses of senior Nazi figures.
But Jewish leaders, who sent a letter to the auction house condemning the sale, rejected the claim.’’The items only give succour to those who idealize what the Nazi party stood for or offer buyers the chance to titillate a guest or loved one with an item belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters,” wrote Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA) in the letter co-signed by 34 leaders of Jewish communities in Europe.
He added, ‘’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. Indeed, one can only question the motivation of those buying them. Europe suffered egregiously because of the perverted and murderous ideology of the Nazi party. Millions died to preserve the values of freedom that we take for granted today, including almost half a million Americans. Our continent is littered with memorial mass graves and the sites of death camps.’’
Over the last years, the European Jewish Association has protested several auctions of nazi items.
Alexander Historical Auctions had already faced similar rebuke for previous sales, including one that featured the personal diaries of notorious Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.