An auction of Nazi memorabilia, including Adolf Hitler's top hat, raked in hundreds of thousands of euros in Munich Wednesday, despite protests from the German government and Jewish groups.
The hammer fell on the Nazi leader's top hat at 50,000 euros ($55,310), according to the Hermann Historica auction house website, while items of clothing belonging to his partner Eva Braun each sold for thousands.
One bidder paid 130,000 euros (approx. $145,000) for a silver-plated copy of Hitler's antisemitic political manifesto Mein Kampf that once belonged to senior Nazi Hermann Goering.
Personal belongings from Nazi leaders which were seized by US soldiers in the final days of World War II were also sold.
"The Nazis' crimes are being trivialized here," the German government's anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein told Funke newspaper group, he added, "They're acting as if they're trading in perfectly normal historical art objects," but "there is a danger that Nazi relics become cult objects" for the extreme right.
Ahead of the auction, European Jewish Association chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin recalled that "it is Germany that leads Europe in the sheer volume of reported antisemitic incidents."
Margolin urged the German authorities to "compel auction houses to divulge the names of those who are buying," so they could "then be put on a government 'watch' list."