'A Holocaust and genocide connection': Nazi artifact auction draws criticism in Montreal
MONTREAL -- Military insignia, a soldier’s notebook, and a naval flag emblazoned with a swastika are some of more than 100 Nazi artifacts up for auction online in Montreal.
Champagne Auctions, which hosted the Thursday evening auction, expects most of the buyers to be private collectors interested in military history.
“We are selling historical pieces for military collectors,” said Claude Champagne of Champagne Auctions.
But members of Montreal’s Jewish community are concerned about the sale, with some wondering who will buy the artifacts.
“Unfortunately, the sale of Nazi artifacts is not something new,” said Sarah Fogg, spokesperson for the Montreal Holocaust Museum. “It’s something we see frequently, actually.”
"While they can be interpreted as military objects, there's definitly a Holocaust and genocide connection there," she said. "It's important to remember that when talking about the collection of these objects."
While the museum exhibits remnants of the Holocaust, Fogg says the displays are curated to present the stories of survivors and victims.
When the items are sold on their own, it’s difficult to know where they will end up. Some worry they’ll land in the hands of Nazi sympathizers.
“We would obviously hope that these objects would end up rather in the hands of institutions that can preserve them,” said Fogg.
That way, they can be presented “in a way that’s informative … and aware of the context they were created in.”
B'nai Brith Canada, a Jewish rights organization, has questioned the morality of profiting from the sale of Nazi memorabilia, calling on the federal government to impose a ban.