Jewish group condemns auction of Hitler speeches in Germany
BERLIN (AP) — A prominent European Jewish organization slammed a Munich auction house's decision to sell several of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's handwritten speech notes, saying Tuesday it “defies logic, decency and humanity” to put them on the market.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, said the upcoming sale of the manuscripts is particularly worrisome amid recent figures showing rising anti-Semitism in Germany, and could encourage neo-Nazis.
“I cannot get my head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity, in such a febrile climate, of selling items such as the ramblings of the world’s biggest killer of Jews to the highest bidder," he said in a statement. “What auctions like this do help legitimize Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff.”
The speech notes being offered, all dated before World War II, are directed to Nazi-party organizations and contributors at various functions, and make reference to preparing Germany for war and the “Jewish problem,” said Bernhard Pacher, the managing director of the Hermann Historica auction house where they go on sale Friday.
He defended the sale, saying the papers belong in a museum or in the hands of researchers as historical documents.
“These are handwritten notes from Adolf Hitler, where if you analyze what he wrote ... you can prove he was publicly speaking about going to war, about ‘resolving the Jewish problem,’” Pacher told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
“If we destroy these things and they do not go into a museum for experts to work on them, you will leave the interpretation of what was happening to the right-wing Nazi apologists, who will say Hitler never said that. The man was preparing the Germans that there would be a war and those who didn't want to...