Lebanese businessman who donated Hitler's items honored in J'lem

Abdallah Chatila, the Lebanese-Swiss businessman who bought Hitler's personal items to keep them from neo-Nazis, honored in Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Abdallah Chatila meets Yaakov Hagoel
Abdallah Chatila meets Yaakov Hagoel
World Zionist Organization

The Lebanese-Swiss businessman who donated Adolf Hitler’s personal belongings to Israel’s Keren Hayesod association was honored with a tour of Jerusalem Sunday.

Abdallah Chatila, a Lebanese-born Christian who was raised in Switzerland, was given a personal tour of the the National Institutions House in downtown Jerusalem Sunday by Yaakov Hagoel, the Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and chairman of the World Likud.

The landmark building, built from 1928 to 1936, was home to the Jewish Agency prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, and later hosted the Knesset’s first sessions after the state was established. Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, was inaugurated in the building in 1949, along with the first government of Israel.

"I am honored to host a very worthy man this evening - Mr. Abdullah Shatila, who purchased Hitler's belongings,” said Hagoel Sunday.

“I am very excited to give Mr. Abdullah a commendation from the World Zionist Organization for the noble act of fulfilling the verse ‘and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’ with this act of generosity strengthening the bonds between peoples and preserving the memory of the Holocaust.”

“It is a symbolic act of closure to stand today in the National Institutions House, where the first government and first president of the State of Israel were sworn in, and to welcome the philanthropist who purchased the belongings of the evil Nazi villan who tried to destroy the Jewish people. In doing so, Mr. Chatila has made an important and significant contribution to presering the memory of the Holocaust and preventing the denial or cheapening of the legacy of the Holocaust in the present and in the future."

Chatila spend some 600,000 euros ($660,000) for eight objects connected to Hitler, including the collapsible top hat, in a November 20 sale at a Munich auction house, and originally planning to burn them all in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of neo-Nazi collectors looking to glorify Hitler.

He later decided, however, to donate the items to Israel’s Keren Hayesod association, which in turn decided to give the items to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center.