The auction house that faced fierce criticism last week for auctioning off Nazi memorabilia says a Jewish buyer took home a watch that belonged to Adolf Hitler.
The watch sold for $1.1 million on the auction’s first day, and its buyer was a European Jew, the president of Alexander Historical Auctions, Bill Panagopulos, told the Washington Post. He declined to name the buyer.
Panagopulos also told the newspaper that he and his family had received death threats amid criticism of the two-day auction of Nazi memorabilia. The European Jewish Association was among multiple groups to condemn the sale, saying that allowing the items to enter private hands trivialises the Holocaust and enriches Nazi sympathisers.
Panagopulos told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency before the sale that those critiques did not resonate with him. “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 buyers, he added, “are NOT neo-Nazis, who are too poor and too stupid to appreciate any kind of historic material.”
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