Some of the Third Reich memorabila to be auctioned off later this month includes an edition of “Mein Kampf,” the 1925 manifesto by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler; Hitler’s top hat; and dresses belonging to Hitler’s wife Eva Braun. The dresses were discovered in 40 trunks obtained by US military officials in 1945 in Salzburg, Austria.
Other items being auctioned off include a copy of Hitler’s rental contract in Munich, a pair of sunglasses worn by a Nazi war crime defendant at the Nuremberg trials and personal items belonging to Nazi leaders Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels. The nature of those belongings is unclear.
In an email addressed to the auction house, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association, requested that the sale of the Third Reich memorabilia be canceled.
“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,” Margolin wrote, The Times of Israel reported.
Hermann Historica director Bernhard Pacher told the Bild daily that Nazi artifacts are sold to customers “who are approaching it with serious historical interest.”
The Anti-Defamation League, which is a non-governmental organization based in the United States whose mission is to stop the defamation of Jewish people and secure justice for all people, has previously expressed concern about sales of Nazi artifacts attracting the wrong types of people.
In 2017, Ken Jacobson, the organization’s deputy national director, said: “Some people will be attracted to [these items] for good historical reasons.”
“But we have concerns about such auctions, especially with the extreme elements feeling emboldened,” Jacobson added at the time.
In April, a copy of Hitler’s death and disability insurance was auctioned for more than $4,000. The same month, Hitler’s suicide letter was also put on the auction block, with expectations that the item would fetch at least $80,000. However, five paintings, believed to be Hitler's work, did not sell at an auction in Nuremberg in October after local officials deemed the sale to be “lacking in style and taste.”