Following action by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), an online auction platform has suspended a Montreal auction house and removed disturbing Holocaust and Nazi relics that were being sold in an auction.
In an email sent to FSWC on Tuesday, liveauctioneers.com stated that it is suspending the auction house Madison’s Historical’s listing privileges because they violated a number of listing policies, “including those policies that seek to limit the glorification of vile historical objects and to discourage the modern replication of hateful items.”
All of the auction house’s items - including a used Zyklon B gas canister, SS weapons and military gear, personal items and documents belonging to concentration camp prisoners, among many other items - have since been removed from the platform, FSWC said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are pleased to see the quick removal of the Holocaust and Nazi relics from this online platform, but are disappointed to see the lack of sensitivity and understanding from the auction house, which not only chose to sell and make a profit from these items, but also glorified many of the items, including calling a Zyklon B gas canister used at a concentration camp ‘the holy grail’ and a ‘lifetime opportunity,’” said FSWC president and CEO Michael Levitt.
“This is utterly grotesque and an insult to the 6 million Jews and millions of others who were murdered by the Nazi regime. There is no place for such relics other than in a museum or educational institution where people can learn more about the items and gain a better understanding of the Holocaust and atrocities committed during that time by Nazis and their collaborators,” he added.
FSWC said it will continue monitoring to ensure the items are not moved to another auction platform.
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.