Hitler speeches sell for $40,000 at auction despite objections

Handwritten speech notes by Adolf Hitler sold at auction in Munich on Friday despite concerns from Jewish groups they could encourage neo-Nazis.

The Hermann Historica auction house defended the sale of the manuscripts, all dated before the outbreak of World War II, saying they were of historical significance and should be preserved in a museum.

The documents were sold to anonymous bidders for well above their starting prices.

A nine-page manuscript by Hitler outlining his speech to new military officers in Berlin in 1939 about eight months before the beginning of World War II fetched the top price of 34,000 euros ($40,300).

A prominent European Jewish organisation had slammed the auction house’s decision to sell the notes, saying it “defies logic, decency and humanity” to put them on the market.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, said the sale was worrisome given rising anti-Semitism in Germany.

“I cannot get my head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity, in such a febrile climate, of selling items such as the ramblings of the world’s biggest killer of Jews to the highest bidder,” he said in a statement.

“What auctions like this do help legitimise Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff.”

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