Hitlers Socks Sold In Controversial Auction of Nazi Memorabilia

By Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1990-048-29A / Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19623922

An auction of Nazi memorabilia, including Hermann Göring’s underpants, went on sale earlier in June.

Also included were Hitler’s socks, Eva Braun’s dresses, and a case that is alleged to have held the cyanide capsule that Göring used to commit suicide.

Jewish groups have condemned the sale. The mayor of Munich requested that the auction house stop the sale.

Sales of Nazi memorabilia are common in Germany. The current collection is for sale after the death of its former owner, John Kingsley Lattimer, a doctor from the United States.

“I asked the same auction house to cancel a similar auction, or at least ensure that the auctioned objects weren’t abused for the glorification of Nazism,” said the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, to Spiegel magazine.

“I can only once again appeal to the auction house to call off the auction and to be aware of the responsibility that comes with a sale of such devotional objects.”

The Hermann Historica auction house defended the sale. It claims that the items were only for sale to “serious collectors” under “strict conditions.”

According to the auction house, the chance to own Göring’s underpants is “an opportunity to acquire historical documents for a better understanding of the past.”

“The auction is evidence of a very questionable use of our history that is not only tasteless but also dangerous,” The President of Munich’s Jewish Community said.

Fueling fears that the auction is a dangerous endeavor is a recent study that shows new levels of support for far-right and neo-Nazi ideals in Germany. More than 8% of Germans surveyed believe that Nazism has a good side.

“We think of Nazis and the far-Right as being on the margins of society, but this is not true, nationalist ideology is very common.”

In recent elections, the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) inflicted damaging losses upon Angela Merkel in regional elections.

Ian Harvey

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