Toronto (March 10, 2021) - Following action by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), an online auction platform has suspended a Montreal auction house and removed disturbing Holocaust and Nazi relics that were being sold in an auction.
In an email sent to FSWC yesterday, LiveAuctioneers stated that it is suspending the auction house Madison’s Historical’s listing privileges because they violated a number of listing policies, “including those policies that seek to limit the glorification of vile historical objects and to discourage the modern replication of hateful items.” All of the auction house’s items - including a used Zyklon B gas canister, SS weapons and military gear, personal items and documents belonging to concentration camp prisoners, among many other items - have since been removed from the platform.
Madison's Historical, which calls itself "a web-based platform auctioneer" that specializes in "World War II and Holocaust related material," has not responded to FSWC's concerns but has since taken down its website.
In response to this update, FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt issued the following statement:
“We are pleased to see the quick removal of the Holocaust and Nazi relics from this online platform 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.’ This is utterly grotesque and an insult to the 6 million Jews and millions of others who were murdered by the Nazi regime. There is no place for such relics other than in a museum or educational institution where people can learn more about the items and gain a better understanding of the Holocaust and atrocities committed during that time by Nazis and their collaborators.”
FSWC will continue monitoring to ensure the items are not moved to another auction platform.