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  • A flag with a swastika is seen in a cupboard at the auction house Hermann Historica in Munich, Germany, November 20, 2019.

    A flag with a swastika is seen in a cupboard at the auction house Hermann Historica in Munich, Germany, November 20, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 November 2019
Opinion

The collection from the auction house Hermann Historica had a total of 842 objects including Hitler's hat, an evening dress from Eva Braun, a and special edition of Mein Kampf from Hermann Göring.

Clothes, books, letters and other objects that allegedly belonged to Adolf Hitler and some of his closest collaborators were auctioned Wednesday in Grasbrunn, south of Germany, sparking harsh criticism from Jewish groups who think such a sale will contribute to glorifying the Nazi past.

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The collection from the auction house Hermann Historica had a total of 842 objects (dated from 1919), including Hitler's top hat, an evening dress from his lover Eva Braun, a special edition of Mein Kampf from Hermann Göring, and Hitler's youth bracelets.

The European Jewish Association asked German parties to prohibit such sales and in the meantime for the auction house to make public the identities of the buyers.

“Selling such items is no different than auctioning personal items from Osama bin Laden. The historical argument is pure semantics, ” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, president of the association,  said in a letter addressed to policymakers.

“What motivation can there be for someone to buy Hitler's knives and forks? Where is the intrinsic historical interest?” Margolin said, adding that “it is not illegal to buy and sell Nazi memorabilia. This is not a legal request, but a moral one.”

In response, the director of auction house Bernhard Pacher said that the people who buy those objects "are not neo-Nazis or worshipers of Nazi ideology." He also ensured that in his business they "make a great effort to ensure that these people do not have access to our catalog and our auctions."

However, with a brief registration on the website, the catalog of the exhibition can be accessed without major problems. Pacher also argues that "the overwhelming majority of buyers are national and international museums and research institutes, as well as renowned private collectors."

It is not the first time there is a sale of these characteristics. Three years ago, the same company also auctioned personal belongings from well-known Nazis, which were mostly bought by an Argentine citizen who did not reveal his identity.

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