Jewish leaders slam sale of Hitler’s watch for US$1.1 million

August 1, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Jewish leaders have slammed the $1.1 million sale by a Maryland auction house of a watch given to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, United Press International reported on Saturday.

Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in Germany in June 1940. Credit: via Flickr

Alexander Historical Auctions sold the Huber watch on Thursday “as part of a collection that included a dress belonging to Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, and other Nazi items looted from the couple’s vacation home in 1945,” said the report.

It noted that the auction house “routinely sells controversial memorabilia.”

The latest sale prompted 34 Jewish leaders to write an open letter condemning the auctioning of items “belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chair of the European Jewish Association, said in a statement: “The sale of these items is an abhorrence. There is little to no intrinsic historical value to the vast bulk of the lots on display.”

According to the UPI report, the president of Alexander Historical Auctions, Bill Panagopulos, refused to identify the buyer, describing them only as “Jewish European.”

For its part, the Washington Post quoted Panagopulos as saying that, “Many people donate [Nazi artifacts] to museums and institutions, as we have done. Others need the money or simply choose to sell. That is not our decision.”

Panagopulos reportedly received death threats in the past in response to the sale of Nazi and Confederate soldier items.

In Australia, Peter Wertheim, the co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire: “Alexander Historical Auctions should hang its head in shame. Cashing in on the notoriety associated with a mass murderer like Hitler is about as low as it gets as a way of doing business. The fact that there is a market for Nazi memorabilia is not only a sad reflection on the ghoulish tastes and amorality of collectors but also of the coarsening of contemporary popular culture and the dilution and dumbing down of history, whose lessons are increasingly lost in the process.

This iniquitous trade is an insult to the memory of the millions who died and suffered under Nazi tyranny and to the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the Allied forces to rid the world of this evil. Those who engage in this trade need to ask themselves whether turning a dollar is worth sacrificing their integrity, humanity and sense of decency.”


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