“I didn’t want these objects to fall into the wrong hands and be used by people with dishonest intentions,” Chatila said.
By United with Israel Staff
A story of kindness and empathy emerged from the shocking auction of hundreds of pieces of Nazi memorabilia last week.
Abdallah Chatila, a Lebanese-Swiss businessman, purchased over 600,000 euros worth of the memorabilia with the sole intention of donating them to the Jewish people, to do with the objects whatever the community saw fit, reports the Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche.
“I wanted to buy these objects so that they couldn’t be used for neo-Nazi propaganda purposes,” Chatila told the Swiss newspaper. “Far-right populism and anti-Semitism are advancing throughout Europe and the world. I didn’t want these objects to fall into the wrong hands and be used by people with dishonest intentions.”
“They should be burned,” he added.
Chatila decided to donate the items to the Keren Hayesod-the United Israel Appeal, reports JTA.
Among the item’s that Chatila bought was a top hat that belonged to Hitler, a silver-plated copy of “Mein Kampf” that belonged to Hermann Göring, Hitler’s cigar box, Edda Göring’s music box, and the typewriter of Hitler’s assistant, Traudl Junge.
To the chagrin of many, Hermann Historica, an auction house in Munich, sold off hundreds of pieces of Nazi memorabilia last week.
Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association thanked Chatila for his selfless deed.
“We were not prepared however, in this cynical world in which we live, to expect an act of such kindness, such generosity and such solidarity as demonstrated by Mr. Chatila. It is clear he understood our aggravation and hurt at the sale, and decided to do something about it in a way that nobody foresaw,” Margolin said.
“We greatly appreciate his understanding that such items have no place on the market, and should ultimately be destroyed. But that he chose to give the items to Jews shows a remarkable conscience and understanding,” he added.
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