Paris bans Hitler auction after Jewish protest

Authorities in France have scrapped a planned auction of personal effects belonging to Hitler and Hermann Goering after the country’s largest Jewish group, backed by the Culture Minister, lodged a complaint.

Paris bans Hitler auction after Jewish protest
A French Jewish group has objected to Adolf Hitler's personal effects going under the hammer next month. Photo: William West/AFP

The auction was due to take place on April 26th but authorities stepped in after it drew the ire of Jewish groups in France.

The umbrella organisation CRIF said the sale was "a form of moral indecency" and disrespectful to "the victims of Nazi barbarism" and had asked the culture ministry to block the auction.

On Monday France ‘s Council of Voluntary Sales, which regulates public sales announced it would no longer take place.

The objects and documents set to go under the hammer were brought back by French World War II fighters from the Bavarian Alps homes of the two Reich stalwarts in May 1945 after Hitler's mountaintop retreat was bombed by Allied planes.

They included Goering's passport, a monogrammed mat with the Nazi eagle belonging to Hitler bearing the letters A H, and a wooden chest presented to the Nazi leader and emblazoned with swastikas.

One of the older pieces was a 17th century manuscript presented to Goering in 1935.

Another organisation, the National Office of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, had on Saturday called for a ban on what it said was an "obscene" auction.

On Monday France’s Minister of Culture Aurelie Filippetti welcomed the decision she described as “necessary in the light of history and morality.”

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Jewish groups protest after Paris suburb renames street in honour of Palestinians

French Jewish groups and Israeli officials protested Tuesday after the mayor of a Paris suburb renamed a street to honour the thousands of Palestinians forced from their homes during Israel's creation in 1948.

Jewish groups protest after Paris suburb renames street in honour of Palestinians
A view of the city hall pictured on June 12, 2018 in Bezons, a suburb of Paris. Photo: AFP
Dominique Lesparre, the Communist mayor of Bezons, on Monday officially renamed a street near city hall “Allee de la Nakba” (Nakba Lane) to commemorate the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, when more than 760,000 Palestinians were expelled by Israeli forces or fled 70 years ago.
Plaques in French and Arabic read: “In memory of the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 532 villages in 1948 by the war criminal David Ben Gurion for the creation of the state of Israel,” referring to the country's first prime minister.
Police sources told AFP the plaques had been covered with graffiti by Tuesday morning.
A plaque is picture on June 12, 2018 in Bezons, a suburb of Paris. Photo: AFP   
The city later removed the plaques after a request by the top central government official for the Val-d'Oise region, who said they could “seriously disrupt public order”.
The CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish associations had also demanded the plaques be taken down, saying they “encourage the current acts of anti-Semitic violence by trying to give them historic justification.”
“The first Hamas city hall in France,” Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, posted in French on Twitter, in reference to the Islamist party governing Gaza.
It was not the first time Bezons has courted controversy with its support of the Palestinian cause.
In 2014 the town was ordered to remove a commemorative plaque for Majdi al-Rimawi, a Palestinian sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 2001 killing of an Israeli government minister at a Jerusalem hotel.
In a statement, Israel's ambassador to France Aliza Bin-Noun accused the mayor of supporting “Palestinian terrorism and inciting hate”.
“These provocations are unacceptable given that Israel and France share a strong and sincere friendship, cemented by shared democratic values,” the embassy said.
France has been rocked by a number of attacks on Jews in recent years, pointing to the emergence of a virulent strain of anti-Semitism in some neighbourhoods with predominantly Muslim immigrants.


Why 5,000 Jews emigrated from France to Israel last yearPhoto: AFP