'An insult to the millions who perished'

Jewish group protests UK auction of pencil said to have been Hitler’s

AH-initialed pencil is one of 10 items connected to the Nazi dictator going on the block in Belfast

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

A pencil said to have belonged to Adolf Hitler on sale at an auction house in Belfast, the United Kingdom, pictured ahead of its auctioning scheduled for June 6, 2023. (Bloomfield Auctions)
A pencil said to have belonged to Adolf Hitler on sale at an auction house in Belfast, the United Kingdom, pictured ahead of its auctioning scheduled for June 6, 2023. (Bloomfield Auctions)

An auction house in Northern Ireland is selling 10 items connected to Adolf Hitler, triggering protests by a Brussels-based Jewish group that has demanded the sale be canceled.

Bloomfield Auctions featured on its website a June 6 auction of a pencil initialed AH that the website says belonged to the German dictator and is worth at least £50,000 ($62,000). The pencil was “owned and used by Adolf Hitler, given to him by Eva Braun on his 52nd birthday,” the website states.

Other Hitler items included what the Belfast-based auction house described as a 1920s ”personally autographed photo by Adolf Hitler” of himself (£8,000, $10,000), and a “small milk jug from Adolf Hitler’s VIP dining wagon” emblazoned with the Nazi Eagle symbol (£1,500, $1,900).

Last year, a watch said to have belonged to Hitler and given to him in 1933 fetched $1.1 million at an auction by Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland in the United States.

Critics of such auctions have argued that, in addition to appealing to fans of Nazism, they offer Nazi leaders celebrity status, adding little to the historical understanding of their actions.

Speaking to The Guardian about the auction, Karl Bennett, managing director of Bloomfield Auctions, said: “The importance of Hitler’s engraved personal pencil lies in the fact that it helps to unravel a hidden piece of history, giving a unique insight into Hitler’s personal relationships, which he scrupulously kept hidden from the public eye.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin disputed this view in a letter that he sent Bennett Wednesday, urging him to withdraw the sale.

The auction was part of a “macabre trade in items belonging to mass murderers, the motives of those buying them are unknown and may glorify the actions of the Nazis, and lastly, their trade is an insult to the millions who perished, the few survivors left, and to Jews everywhere,” Margolin wrote.

In the letter, Margolin also asked Bennett whether he would “sell the pen that belonged to Robert Murphy, who killed 12 and injured 30 at the LaMon Restaurant not far from you in East Belfast.”

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