French Jewish groups protest Paris auction of Hitler objects

(JTA) — Two French Jewish groups called on authorities to prevent an auction of Nazi objects in Paris.

The National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, and the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities issued the call Sunday with regard to an April 26 sale organized by the Maison Vermont de Pas. The objects include passports and books that were collected from a residence of Adolf Hitler.

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“There is a connection between the sale of such goods and the sort of violence we witnessed only yesterday in Kansas City,” BNVCA President Sammy Ghozlan told JTA in reference to the murder of three people on Sunday outside a Jewish community center and a nearby retirement community in Overland Park, Kan. Police arrested a 73-year-old white supremacist in connection with the deadly shootings.

“People who adhere to the Nazi ideology are incited to act on it by these objects and literature of hate until someone actually goes ahead and does it,” Ghozlan said.

The collection being auctioned comprises approximately 40 objects that French soldiers took from Hitler’s residence in Bavaria in 1945 and from a neighboring house where the Nazi boss Hermann Goering lived, Le Parisien reported Sunday. CRIF said in a statement that the sale of the objects offended the memory of Jews and non-Jews who “fell victims to the Nazi barbarity.”

Ghozlan, a former police officer, said the sale was “reprehensible not only from a historical and moral perspective, but also from a legal one, since the objects being sold were illegally pillaged and taken back to France as war booty.”

Ghozlan said he is working with French police to prevent the sale.

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