The Vermot De Pas House, an auction house in Paris, has decided to cancel the plans to auction off a box covered with swastikas that once belonged to Hitler. Along with the box, the auction house is in possession of other artifacts that were once own by Nazis. The Vermot De Pas House announced its decision to cancel the April 26th auction, siting they did not want to cause a scandal by holding the auction. All together, the auction house has 40 items that were to be put on the block. The items ranged from passports that belonged to Hermann Goering, an aviator’s watch, photographs of Hitler and silverware that was at Hitler’s home in Bavaria.
Aurelie Filippetti, the Culture Minister, sent a letter on April 14th to the auctions authority in France, and claimed the sale was “morally reprehensible” and asked for the auction to be cancelled. Filippetti also noted the official ban of Nazi ideology in public. The wooden box which sparked the controversy is no larger than a shoe box and was expected to be sold for 3,000 euros ($4,100). The box was given to Hitler for his birthday and it was inscribed with a quote about the importance of roads for an empire.
France’s well-known association with the Jewish group, CRIF, claimed the sale was a harmful memory to the victims of Nazi cruelty. The Associated Press reports the CRIF said that by trading such objects gives them an “unhealthy symbolic value” which represents cynicism and moral indecency. Four individuals, including former French military members or their family, put the items up for sale, states Vermot De Pas. The auction house insists none of the items were used as propaganda. Some of the proceeds from the sales were expected to go to group linked to Auschwitz deportees.