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Oregon auction house pulls purported Himmler dagger after Jewish groups complain

Auctioneer removes ceremonial knife said to have been owned by SS leader and other Nazi memorabilia from docket, says he will not sell such items again

Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the Gestapo and the SS, in the 1930s. (Corbis via Getty Images)
Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the Gestapo and the SS, in the 1930s. (Corbis via Getty Images)

JTA — “VERY RARE HEINRICH HIMMLER PRESENTATION SS HONOR DAGGER,” said the entry posted Sunday on the website of the Portland auction house O’Gallerie.

On Monday, after Jewish groups complained, it became even rarer.

The auction house president, Thomas O’Grady, removed the ceremonial dagger purportedly owned by the leader of the SS, The Oregonian reported. He also removed other Nazi memorabilia and told the newspaper he would not auction such items again, although he had in the past without controversy.

“We don’t believe that a business or an individual should be able to profit from something like this — it’s shameful,” Bob Horenstein, the director of community relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, told the newspaper on Sunday, when it first reported the listing.

On Monday, Horenstein said he was “pleasantly surprised.”

Judy Margles, executive director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, had tried to reach the auction house on Sunday.

“I’m massively relieved that O’Gallerie listened carefully to the discussion around this issue and made the appropriate decision,” she said.

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