Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) on Tuesday called on a Montreal-based auction house to immediately remove disturbing Holocaust and Nazi relics - including a used Zyklon B gas canister, SS weapons and military gear, as well as personal items and documents belonging to concentration camp prisoners - from its online auction.
Madison's Historical, which calls itself "a web-based platform auctioneer" that specializes in "World War II and Holocaust related material," is selling the items in an auction that closes on April 4 on the platform liveauctioneers.com.
Neither Madison’s Historical nor liveauctioneers.com have responded to FSWC's request for the removal of the items.
"It's unconscionable that someone could profit from or purchase these items, especially murder weapons that contributed to the deaths of 6 million Jews and millions of others," said Michael Levitt, FSWC president and CEO.
"As Holocaust awareness diminishes, the need for Holocaust education is becoming more important than ever. That is why these items should be donated to a museum or educational institution to be used to educate people about the Holocaust, not sold for profit and potentially end up in the hands of those with nefarious motivations,” he added.
FSWC called on liveauctioneers.com to adopt policies similar to those of other large auction platforms such as eBay which prohibit the sale of Nazi military propaganda and relics.
In 2013, eBay pulled Holocaust memorabilia that was for sale on its website and included, among other things, the clothes of concentration camp victims.
In recent years, other auctions - including the sale of Adolf Hitler's furniture and a rare edition of "Mein Kampf" in French auction houses - have been subject to various legal battles before being cancelled or retracted.