French Jews Win Ban on Hitler Memento Auction
Following protests by two Jewish groups, a Paris auction house canceled an auction of Nazi objects.
The Maison Vermont de Pas auction house nixed the April 26 sale on Monday following the protests by the National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, and the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities. The objects included passports and books that were collected from a residence of Adolf Hitler. BNVCA President Sammy Ghozlan said his group was satisfied with the decision. His group has asked French government officials to urge those in possession of Nazi objects from the 1930 and 1940s to give them to police.
“There is a connection between the sale of such goods and the sort of violence we witnessed only yesterday in Kansas City,” Ghozlan told JTA in reference to the murder of three people on Sunday outside a Jewish community center and a nearby retirement community in Overland Park, Kan. Police arrested a 73-year-old white supremacist in connection with the deadly shootings.
“People who adhere to the Nazi ideology are incited to act on it by these objects and literature of hate until someone actually goes ahead and does it,” Ghozlan said.
The collection that the auction house sought to put on the block comprised approximately 40 objects that French soldiers took from Hitler’s residence in Bavaria in 1945 and from a neighboring house where the Nazi boss Hermann Goering lived, Le Parisien reported Sunday. CRIF said in a statement that the sale of the objects offended the memory of Jews and non-Jews who “fell victims to the Nazi barbarity.”
Ghozlan, a former police officer, said the sale was “reprehensible not only from a historical and moral perspective, but also from a legal one, since the objects being sold were illegally pillaged and taken back to France as war booty.”