Adolf Hitler’s top hat has been sold for 50,000 EUR as part of a controversial sale of Nazi memorabilia that also included clothing from his companion Eva Braun.
Also sold by the auction website Hermann Historica was a silver-plated copy of Hitler’s antisemitic political manifesto Mein Kampf that once belonged to senior Nazi Hermann Goering. It included the sign of the eagle and the party’s swastika emblem which sold for 130,000 EUR.
The auction also sold other items from Nazi leaders including Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess in the auction which attracted widespread criticism. Many of the items were gathered by Allied soldiers who swept across the country in the closing days of World War II. They included some of the objects from 40 trunks found by army officials in May 1945 in the Austrian Salzburg region.
The German government’s antisemitism commissioner Felix Klein said that the auction was “trivialising the crimes of the Nazis.”
He added: “They are acting as if what they are selling is no different to any other historical objects.” He also warned there was a danger that they could become objects to motivate the far right if they fell into the wrong hands.
The chairman of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin also criticised the auction accusing Germany of taking a leading role in the tide of antisemitism that was sweeping the continent.
He added that he wanted “German authorities to force the sellers of such items to name the people who bought them”. He also wanted them put on a government watchlist for signs of far right ties.
As well as some of the high-profile items are also more mundane artefacts including a copy of a rent contract for a property Hitler had in Munich and a pair of sunglasses worn by one of the defendants at the Nazi war crimes trial in Nuremberg to avoid the glare from the spotlights.
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