Hitler’s watch sells for $1.1M in controversial auction

European Jewish Association slams sale as an “abhorrence.”

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

A watch that was said to have belonged to Adolf Hitler sold for $1.1 million in a controversial Maryland auction this week.

The engraved gold watch — presented to Adolf Hitler as a sign of gratitude from Nazi party members — was purchased by an anonymous buyer. According to auction house, the watch was taken as loot by a French soldier from Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s retreat in the Bavarian Alps.

The Huber watch, made of gold featured a swastika, a German imperial eagle and Hitler’s initials.

Jewish groups had called on the Alexander Auction House of Chesapeake City, Maryland, not to follow through with a two-day auction of personal items belonging to Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun on July 28-29

Other items sold during the July 28-29 auction included a golden eagle from Hitler’s bedroom, Hitler’s personal stationary, a candy dish, a dog collar used by one of Miss Braun’s dogs, and a beer-serving tray.

The European Jewish Association denounced the sale in a letter co-signed by 34 members and leaders of European Jewish communities.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the the Brussel-based advocacy organization said Hitler’s personal items only give “succor to those who idealize what the Nazi party stood for” and provide “buyers the chance to titillate a guest or loved one with an item belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters.”

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“The sale of these items is an abhorrence. There is little to no intrinsic historical value to the vast bulk of the lots on display,” Margolin stressed.

But in a letter to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Bill Panagopulos, the president of Alexander Historical Auctions, rejected the criticism as “nonsense and sensationalism.”

“What we sell is criminal evidence, no matter how insignificant. It is tangible, real in-your-face proof that Hitler and Nazis lived, and also persecuted and killed tens of millions of people. To destroy or in any way impede the display or protection of this material is a crime against history,” Panagopulos wrote.

The purchasers, he added, “are NOT neo-Nazis, who are too poor and too stupid to appreciate any kind of historic material.”