Earlier this month, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Kent-based C&T Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd to express our dismay over their auctioning of Nazi memorabilia, including an assortment of Third Reich daggers and busts and pictures of Hitler and his senior ministers.
Their two-day militaria online auction also featured plaques and medals, clothing, shoes, goggles, medical pouches, china, posters, toys and books, all from the Nazi era.
The auction house has since responded to our letter, and as well as giving us no indication that it intends to halt their selling of Nazi memorabilia, they have told us that the auctioning of the grotesque items “keeps the memory of what happened alive”.
Despite Campaign Against Antisemitism outlining our belief that such items belong in a museum instead of in the hands of collectors whose motivation for acquiring cannot be known, the auction house insisted that auctioning to private collectors can educate them in “the horrors of history”.
In an absurd justification, the auction house further stated that if the private auctioning of Nazi memorabilia were to cease, so too would society have to ban anything that ever related to the Second World War, including books, films and television programmes, adding that one would “need to never show another movie or anything set during this time period.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “C&T Auctioneers and Valuers are putting profit before ethics by participating in the trade of Nazi memorabilia. Respectable auction houses only sell such objects to museums and for academic purposes, whereas at C&T Auctioneers and Valuers anybody could buy them, even neo-Nazis. The ultimate shame is trying to convince Jews that selling Nazi daggers and portraits of murderers helps ‘keeps the memory of what happened alive’, a claim that would be laughable were it not so obviously laced with contempt and condescension. We condemn C&T Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd’s decision to carry on auctioning these items.”
While C&T Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd show no signs of ceasing the sale of Nazi memorabilia, Tennants auctioneers recently assured us that they will not put Nazi items up for auction again in future, after we contacted the auction house in connection with an auction of Third Reich items.
However, auctions of Third Reich items persist, including those recently hosted by Easy Live Auction.
Last month, a BBC Bargain Hunt expert apologised after it was revealed that Nazi memorabilia was due to be sold at his auction house. Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.