Buyer from Argentina spends over €600,000 at Auction of Nazi Memorabilia

Image by: Eva A. / Flickr
Image by: Eva A. / Flickr

The Hermann Historica auction house in Munich has held a controversial auction of Nazi memorabilia. The sale, which included a military-style jacket worn by Hitler, an X-ray of his skull after an assassination attempt in 1944, and a lot which included nightshirt and underpants, was widely panned by Jewish groups.

Due to the controversy, the auction house tried to keep journalists out. The German newspaper, Bild, managed to sneak a journalist in disguised as a buyer. According to his report, almost all of the items were purchased by a single, unidentified buyer from Argentina. In all, the buyer spent more than €600,000.

Other items in the sale include Hitler’s dog license bill and the case which held a cyanide capsule – the very capsule with which Göring ended his life. 

The auction brought in more than €900,000.

The auction house stated that the sale was only for “serious collectors” but there were concerns that the items would be purchased by neo-Nazis.

The unknown buyer identified himself as 888.  “88” is used by neo-Nazis to represent “Heil Hitler,” as “H” is the 8th letter of the alphabet.

It is unknown if the buyer was purchasing the item for himself or on behalf of someone else.

When questioned by the reporter, he refused to give his name. He said that the items were to be exhibited in a museum.

Many high-ranking Nazi officials escaped to Argentina using “ratlines” operated by ODESSA after World War II. ODESSA was an organization of former SS agents.

Germany’s Central Council of Jews condemned the auction. They called it “disgusting.” Charlotte Knobloch, the president of Munich’s Jewish community, called it “a very questionable use of our history that is not only tasteless but also dangerous.”

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE