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French auctioneers pull Nazi memorabilia from sale

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A French auction house said Monday it had withdrawn around a hundred items of Nazi memorabilia from a sale planned this month in the central Auvergne region.

Nazi helmets, an Adolf Hitler bust, a Waffen-SS armband and military decorations were among the objects presented for the online auction.

The sale attracted the attention of a person known only as "Axel" who monitors auctions of Nazi objects.

The items had been included on the auctioneers' website under the heading of "French regulation arms and military items from the 17th to the 19th centuries".

"The objects in question were presented with a sticker covering the Nazi emblems, like we are legally entitled to do, but I decided to withdraw them and they will be handed back to the seller," the auction's curator Philippe Casal told AFP.

Axel meanwhile said that while such objects could be bought and sold in France, it was illegal to advertise them.

He said he had found "at least 40" auctions involving Nazi items planned over the next six months.

Lawyer and historian Serge Klarsfeld told AFP that Third Reich objects "are bought by people who are fascinated by Nazism, which is the ideology of a criminal organisation".

A number of planned sales of Nazi relics have been cancelled in France since the start of the year after objections were raised.

A French auction house said Monday it had withdrawn around a hundred items of Nazi memorabilia from a sale planned this month in the central Auvergne region.

Nazi helmets, an Adolf Hitler bust, a Waffen-SS armband and military decorations were among the objects presented for the online auction.

The sale attracted the attention of a person known only as “Axel” who monitors auctions of Nazi objects.

The items had been included on the auctioneers’ website under the heading of “French regulation arms and military items from the 17th to the 19th centuries”.

“The objects in question were presented with a sticker covering the Nazi emblems, like we are legally entitled to do, but I decided to withdraw them and they will be handed back to the seller,” the auction’s curator Philippe Casal told AFP.

Axel meanwhile said that while such objects could be bought and sold in France, it was illegal to advertise them.

He said he had found “at least 40” auctions involving Nazi items planned over the next six months.

Lawyer and historian Serge Klarsfeld told AFP that Third Reich objects “are bought by people who are fascinated by Nazism, which is the ideology of a criminal organisation”.

A number of planned sales of Nazi relics have been cancelled in France since the start of the year after objections were raised.

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