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British TV Lambasted for Buying a 'Lock of Hitler's Hair'

UK's Channel 4 criticized for 'tawdry' move after buying hair which supposedly belonged to Hitler from a convicted Holocaust denier.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/26/2014, 5:11 PM

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Flash 90

The British TV station Channel 4 has come under fire for buying an alleged lock of Nazi-leader Adolf Hitler's hair, for the exorbitant sum of 3,000 British pounds (roughly $5,000).

The genocidal dictator's supposed hair was bought from David Irving, who was convicted of Holocaust denial in Austria in 2006 and fined, after not only denying the murder of six million Jews but calling Hitler "a great man," and the Gestapo Nazis "fabulous policemen."

Channel 4 bought the hair, which alleged was collected by Hitler's barber by using sticky tape on his shoe soles, to run DNA tests on it during their show "Dead Famous DNA," which is to be broadcast Wednesday night, according to The Daily Mail.

A spokesperson for the TV station said the tests could provide a "key biological component" to the mass-murderer's biography, adding "we believe the potential importance of the scientific and historical insight justified the purchase."

However, not everyone agreed with the move. British Labor MP Ian Austin, whose Jewish father's family was killed in the Treblinka death camp, called it a "sick" and "tawdry" stunt.

"It’s appalling that Channel 4 would get involved with a Holocaust denier in some bizarre and tawdry show purporting to be entertainment," added Austin. "It’s disgusting, and raises questions about Channel 4’s public broadcasting remit."

The show, according to Channel 4's website, "tracks down remains of some of history’s most important and infamous figures and uses cutting-edge DNA analysis to find out more about what made them who they were." 

Marilyn Monroe, Charles Darwin and Napoleon Bonaparte also feature on the show.

Aside from his Holocaust denial, the 75-year-old Irving got into hot water in 2009 when he tried to sell the hair and various other Nazi memorabilia online.