A number of items purportedly owned by Adolf Hitler have been put up for auction in Australia, with an anti-Semitism watchdog charging that their sale glorifies the Nazi leader.
Among the objects JB Military Antiquities put on the auction block were a cigarette box, decanter, ice bucket, gravy boat and hairbrush, a number of which it touted as “exceptional and extremely rare.” Bidding is set to close on Sunday morning.
The cigarette box and hairbrush were the most sought after items with over 20 bids each, with the former fetching an asking price of AUD 11,500 (nearly $8,900).
The Anti-Defamation Commission, which has been pushing to outlaw the sale of Nazi memorabilia, denounced the “perverse and twisted” auction.
“If Hitler was alive today, he would be thanking JB Military Antiques and applauding their lurid trade, delighted that his legacy is being mainstreamed and promoted in Australia,” ADC chair Dvir Abramovich said in a statement Friday.
“The extermination and dehumanization of millions should not have a tag price and be offered to the highest bidder. The perverse and twisted sale of these blood-stained items that belonged to a monster tramples on the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and is a spit on the graves of the valiant diggers who sacrificed their lives to defeat this evil tyrant.”
He also called the auction “a kick in the stomach” to Holocaust survivors.
Abramovich called for the auction house to immediately pull the items and for the premier of Western Australia, where JB Military Antiquities is located, to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia.
The owner of JB Military Antiquities, Jamey Blewitt, said he would continue to sell the items.
“Whilst this is a period of history which has caused and continues to cause pain and discomfort for a great number of people… these items are sold as historical artifacts in their nature and speak more about the educational legacy… as opposed to me or my auction house wanting to glorify or promote Nazism or the ideals and beliefs of Adolf Hitler,” Blewitt was quoted saying by 9News.
The ADC has previously tussled with the auction house, which last year put a photo of Abramovich alongside Hitler in a Facebook post after objections to its sale of Nazi memorabilia.