(JTA) — A rabbi representing Jews in Europe has asked a German auction house to cancel the sale of items belonging to Nazi leaders, including Adolf Hitler.
The Berlin-based Hermann Historica in an auction planned for Nov. 20 will sell 147 items that feature dresses belonging to Hitler’s longtime companion, Eva Braun; and a copy of Hitler’s rental contract in Munich. There are personal belongings such as framed photographs, silver dinner services, plates, and letters of Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels.
“I am writing to respectfully ask you to withdraw the auction,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association, wrote in a letter to the auction house. “This is not a legal appeal to you, but very much a moral one. What you are doing is not illegal, but it is wrong. I need not remind you of the many millions of lives lost as a result of national socialism, nor of the approximately six million Jewish lives that were lost due to mindless antisemitic hatred. This is history.”
Margolin said the memorabilia has “little intrinsic historical value” except to those seeking to glorify the Nazis and that canceling the sale would “send a message that some things particularly when so metaphorically blood soaked, should not and must not be traded.”
Hermann Historica director Bernhard Pacher told the Bild daily: “Yes, Hitler sells, but most of all to customers who are approaching it with serious historical interest.”