Auction House Cancels Nazi Memorabilia Sale

Auction house Vermot de Pas canceled an auction of Nazi memorabilia after facing criticism. Illustration: Peter Ansell for La Jeune Politique.

Auction house Vermot de Pas canceled an auction of Nazi memorabilia after facing criticism. Illustration: Peter Ansell for La Jeune Politique.

A French auction house, Vermot de Pas, has cancelled a Nazi memorabilia sale on April 26 after Jewish groups objected to the sale, calling it “obscene,” reported the BBC.

The influential French organization of Jewish groups, the CRIF, said the event was, “harming the memory of victims of Nazi barbarity.” Another group, the National Office of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism also joined calls for the sale to be blocked.

French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti joined the Jewish organizations in calling the items to be withdrawn from the sale. She said it was “necessary in light of history and morality.”

The auction included objects belonging to former Nazi leaders, including Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering, seized from Hitler’s Bavarian home in May 1945 during the last few days of the Nazi regime, according to Vermot de Pas.

Of about 40 objects, the auction included Goering’s passport, a wooden chest marked with swastikas belonging to Hitler, as well as a napkin bearing Hitler’s initials.

Laudine de Pas, the co-manager of the auction house, said they did not mean to spark a controversy. “We were pitching this as part of the responsibility to remember – but in no way to shock or create a polemic,” AP news agency quoted her as saying.

Catherine Chadelet, President of the Council of Voluntary Sales (CVV), said that the items by their nature were likely to shock and that Vermot de Pas had decided to withdraw them from the auction, AFP reported.

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