Rabbi Menachem Margolin said with German antisemitism on the rise, the auction “defies logic, decency and humanity” and helps legitimise “a culture of Hitler enthusiasts”, calls on people to not participate in “this unethical auction”.
(Brussels 19 October 2020) 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 auction house is under fire, again, for selling Nazi memorabilia, this time including various speaking notes from Adolf Hitler.
The Head of the European Jewish Association (EJA) Rabbi Menachem Margolin said he couldn’t get his “head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity” of selling such items to the highest bidder.
Hermann Historica, a Munich based auction house came 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 EJA have 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 Rabbi Margolin said,
“The head of the domestic security agency in Germany sounded the alarm less than a month ago about the alarming rise of antisemitism in Germany, we have had a gun attack at a synagogue in Hamburg and the far right are on the march.
“It defies logic, decency and humanity for the very same auction house that came under fire less than a year ago for selling disgusting lots of Nazi memorabilia that they should do so again.
“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.
“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.”