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Nazi auction Geneva businessman buys Hitler’s hat

gloved hand holding hat

A hat worn by Hitler

(KEYSTONE/AP DPA/MATTHIAS BALK)

Following a German auction, a Geneva entrepreneur is the new owner of several items that once belonged to Adolf Hitler.

The man was the top bidder for the late Nazi leader’s top hat, his cigar box, his typewriter and a luxury edition of Mein Kampf.

“I wanted to buy these objects so that they couldn’t be used for neo-Nazi propaganda purposes,” said Abdallah Chatila in an interview with Swiss Sunday newspaper le Matin Dimanche. The memorabilia related to the Nazi regime was auctioned off in Munich on Wednesday.

“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,” he explained.

The Geneva contractor spent CHF600,000 ($601,640) to acquire ten of the most symbolic lots out of the 800 up for grabs. Personally, he felt that “these relics should be burned”, but he has decided to give them to the Keren Hajessod associationexternal link. The plan is for the objects to be exhibited in a museum, likely in Israel.

“This is very commendable. Abdallah Chatila deserves our respect for his determined intervention,” said Johanne Gurfinkiel, Secretary General of the Intercommunity Coordination against Anti-Semitism and Defamation (CICADexternal link).


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