Hitler memorabilia auction rakes in thousands of euros despite protests

An auction of Nazi memorabilia, including Adolf Hitler's top hat, raked in hundreds of thousands of euros in Munich Wednesday amid German and international protest.

Hitler memorabilia auction rakes in thousands of euros despite protests
A top hat with the initials AH being auctioned off. Photo: DPA

The hammer fell on the Nazi leader's top hat at €50,000, according to the Hermann Historica auction house website, while items of clothing belonging to his partner Eva Braun each sold for thousands.

One buyer paid €130,000 for a silver-plated copy of Hitler's anti-Semitic political manifesto Mein Kampf that once belonged to senior Nazi Hermann Göring, emblazoned with an eagle and the party's swastika emblem.

Other lots of clothing and personal belongings from notorious World War II Nazi leaders like Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess also packed the catalogue pages.

READ ALSO: Hitler memorabilia auction in Munich sparks protests

“The Nazis' crimes are being trivialized here,” the German government's anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein told the Funke newspaper group.

“They're acting as if they're trading in perfectly normal historical art objects,” but “there is a danger that Nazi relics become cult objects” for the extreme right, he added.

A cocktail dress from Eva Braun, Hitler's long-term companion who was briefly his wife before their death. Photo: DPA

Ahead of the auction, European Jewish Association chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin recalled that “it is Germany that leads Europe in the sheer volume of reported antisemitic incidents”.

“We urge the German authorities to compel auction houses to divulge the names of those who are buying,” who “should then be put on a government 'watch' list,” Margolin said.

Many of the items belonging to top Nazi leaders were seized by US soldiers in the final days of World War II.

READ ALSO: Outrage grows over Hitler masks on sale in Prague

The dresses belonging to Braun, Hitler's long-term companion who was briefly his wife before their death, were found among 40 trunks seized by the US military in May 1945 in Salzburg in Austria.

Some of the more unusual lots include a copy of Hitler's rental contract in Munich and a pair of sunglasses worn by a defendant at the Nazi war crimes trials in Nuremberg to avoid the glare of the floodlights.

Member comments

  1. World War II memorabilia doesn’t bother me. I have a metal plaque with a bust of Hitler on it, which my father sent home at the end of the war among other things. Most of these personal items from top Nazis however would be better placed in a museum, however.

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Saxony police probe motorcycling ‘Hitler’

German police said they were investigating after a man dressed as Adolf Hitler rode around a weekend festival in a motorbike sidecar, although he provoked more amusement than outrage.

Saxony police probe motorcycling 'Hitler'
Front of a motorcycle. Photo: DPA

“When people dress up as Adolf Hitler, an investigation is always necessary,” a spokesman for Saxony police told news agency DPA on Monday.

The fake Führer appeared at a classic motorcycle gathering in Augustusburg, near Chemnitz, and was seen in videos of the event posted online.

He sported a toothbrush moustache and was seated in the sidecar of a bike driven by a man dressed as a 1940s-era soldier, complete with World War II-style helmet.

READ ALSO: Outrage grows over Hitler masks on sale in Prague

People are heard laughing as the pair pass by and a policeman guarding the event pulls out his phone with a smile to take photos.

The officer could now face consequences for his failure to step in.

“We would have expected our colleague to put a stop to all this without the least hesitation,” the Saxony police spokesman said.

The officer seen laughing at the impersonator was summoned for a meeting with his superiors and has “acknowledged his misconduct”, a spokesman for the local Chemnitz police told AFP on Tuesday.

Saxony premier Michael Kretschmer also condemned the Hitler pantomime.

“Dressing up as a mass murderer is more than just bad taste,” he tweeted. “This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and shouldn't be repeated.”

Around 1,800 motorcyclists and 7,500 visitors took part in the weekend classic bike festival in Saxony, a region in former communist East Germany that has made headlines for far-right and neo-Nazi activities in recent years.