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An Israeli auction house drew censure for selling off Holocaust memorabilia.

Among hundreds of items sold Sunday by the Ben-Ami Andres auction house in Tel Aviv were two yellow Star of David badges which Jews were forced to wear under the Nazis. They were sold for $240 and $160.

The buyers were not identified, but auction organizers said there had been interest in the items from children of Holocaust survivors who voiced desire to commemorate their parents’ suffering.

Yet other Holocaust survivors were far from sanguine about the sale, describing it as profiteering.

“I think it’s despicable,” said Yosef Lapid, a former Israeli justice minister who is now chairman of Yad Vashem’s board of governors. Speaking on Israel Radio, he added sarcastically: “When I was a child in the Budapest ghetto, I had no idea that the badges I was forced to wear could prove so valuable.”

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