New Zealand: Nazi memorabilia auction stirs uproar

Among items to go under the hammer are a signed photograph of Hitler and his deputy, Rudolf Hess.

A planned Nazi memorabilia auction in New Zealand has riled Jewish leaders. Among the items to go under the hammer at Dunbar Sloane's military auction in Wellington Wednesday and Thursday are a signed photograph of Hitler and his deputy, Rudolf Hess. The photo is estimated to be worth between $2,500 and $5,000. Auctioneer Bettina Frith said it was bought at a British auction by an Auckland collector. Also up for sale are an officer's peaked cap, a Luftwaffe helmet and two brooches - all emblazoned with the Nazi Germany eagle and swastika emblems. The auction drew sharp criticism from David Zwartz, Israel's honorary consul and a former president of the New Zealand Jewish Council. "It promotes a view that gives prominence and support for people who were immensely evil and caused a lot of harm to the Jewish people and to the world at large," Zwartz told the Dominion Post on Friday. "We would prefer it if auctioneers and dealers had nothing to do with that sort of material, but we know that we can't prevent it." But Frith said she didn't have a problem selling Nazi paraphernalia. "It's part of history now," she told the newspaper. "You could say anything about any of the wars."