RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – Nazi memorabilia has been pulled from an auction in Richmond this weekend after the sale was condemned by Jewish advocacy group.
Saying the items are “dripping in the blood of six million Jews,” the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs had called for a stop to an auction.
The firearms and militaria auction, set to take place through Maynards Fine Art and Antiques on Saturday, had included a red Nazi flag, emblazoned with a swastika. It’s listed as a “World War II German Flag” with an estimated value of $150 to $250.
Hugh Bulmer, Vice President of Maynards, said in an email: “I have decided to withdraw these items from sale.”
CIJA tweeted about the auction, saying the group was “disgusted and deeply concerned” that it was taking place. Nico Slobinsky is one of the organization’s directors and says they reached out to Maynards on Thursday and asked for the flag and other Nazi items to be taken down.
“We tried to engage with them and to understand a little bit more about the lot, the motivation behind it and also to express that perhaps they would even consider removing some of the items from the lot, considering the emotional response this would illicit from the Jewish community,” Slobinsky told NEWS 1130 before the items were removed.
“We did not get the traction or the response that we were hoping for. Let’s not forget that we’re talking about items that are dripping in the blood of six million murdered Jews, during the Holocaust.”
We are disgusted & deeply concerned that there is an auction containing Nazi memorabilia taking place at Maynards Fine Art & Antiques in Richmond BC tomorrow. These items are dripping in the blood of 6 million murdered Jews. pic.twitter.com/MK73RczfaL
— CIJA (@CIJAinfo) November 22, 2019
He said the items should be in a museum, where they can be used to educate people about the horrors that took place during the Second World War and given proper context.
But Slobinsky says even after that conversation, it looked like Maynards would go ahead.
“We are appalled that someone would be seeking to profit from the sale of this Nazi memorabilia. We recognize that the selling of these items is not illegal in Canada,” he said before the items were pulled. “We would certainly hope that if someone is considering purchasing these items, they would considering donating them to educational institutions that deal with Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education.”
Local politicians are weighing in on the issue. In response to a Facebook post about the sale, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said: “This auction is inappropriate in the City of Richmond for so many reasons. In late January, 2020 I will proclaim International Holocaust [Remembrance] Day in the City in line with a U.N. declaration. We need to educate and make people aware of the atrocities of WW2 so that it never happens again and that we call out antisemitism and persecution of all sorts.”
Teresa Wat, the MLA for Richmond Centre, also commented on the post. “I am truly disturbed by this display to promote hatred and the dark side of human history,” she said. “We must all be vigilant with our language and actions in a collective effort to stand up to bigotry, hatred, and antisemitism in all forms.”
Jas Johal, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough, called for the items to be taken down.
“Maynards Fine Art and Auctions you MUST do better. Six million lives were taken by the Nazis. An auction that sells Nazi memorabilia is not acceptable in any community, never mind one as diverse and caring as Richmond. Please immediately remove all Nazi material from your auction,” he said on the Facebook post.
The lot at auction also includes guns, swords, spears, whips and various helmets. There are also Confederate items and photos, medieval weapons and shields, as well as fishing rods and lures.
Some of the helmets and military pins included are also Nazi items, used by the Germans during the war.