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Online platform suspends Montreal auction house for selling ‘grotesque’ Nazi relics

The platform said they suspended the auction house due to several policy violations, notably the policies that "seek to limit the glorification of vile historical objects.”. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

An online auction platform has suspended a Montreal auction house for selling offensive Nazi relics after a Canadian Jewish organizaiton sounded the alarm.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), a Toronto based non-profit human rights organization that works to counter anti-Semitism, issued a statement on Wednesday saying online auction platform Live Auctioneers had suspended Montreal based auction house Madison’s Historical from its site after FSWC called on the website to take action.

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FSWC said Live Auctioneers said they suspended the auction house after the group alerted it to the issue, on the grounds of several policy violations, notably the policies that “seek to limit the glorification of vile historical objects and to discourage the modern replication of hateful items.”

The objects in question that were being sold by Madison’s Historical included a used Zyklon B gas canister, SS weapons and military gear, personal items and documents belonging to concentration camp prisoners.

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All offensive Holocaust items have been removed from the website, according to Live Auctioneers’ statement to FSWC.

Madison’s Historical calls itself a web-based platform auctioneer that specializes in Second World War and Holocaust-related material. It has since taken down its website.

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“We are pleased to see the quick removal of the Holocaust and Nazi relics from this online platform,” said FSWC president and CEO Michael Levitt, “but are disappointed to see the lack of sensitivity and understanding from the auction house, which not only chose to sell and make a profit from these items, but also glorified many of the items, including calling a Zyklon B gas canister used at a concentration camp ‘the holy grail’ and a ‘lifetime opportunity.’”

Levitt called the sale of the items “utterly grotesque” and an insult to 6 million Jews who were murdered by the Nazi regime. He added that the only place for such memorabilia is in a museum or educational institution.

Madison’s Historical told Global News it had no comment on the issue.

The Jewish rights group says it will continue monitoring to ensure the items are not moved to another auction platform.

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