A controversial auction of memorabilia belonging to Adolf Hitler, held recently in Munich, had an unexpected development.

The buyer, a Lebanese businessman living in Switzerland, Abdallah Shatila, won the collection at auction, announcing immediately after he delivered everything for free to the Jewish institution Keren ha-Yesod. Shatila wanted at all costs to prevent those objects from ending up “in the wrong hands”.

The sale of the personal belongings of the Nazi dictator, including a top hat and a luxury edition of his political manifesto “Mein Kampf”, had immediately sparked outrage and controversy in Germany and abroad.

“The crimes of the Nazis are trivialised – the commissioner of the government in charge of anti-Semitism, Felix Klein had denounced – explaining that” the Nazi relics could become objects of cult”.

 

Abdallah Shatila said he acted “driven by a sense of humanity”. His initiative moved Rabbi Menachem Margolin , president of the association of European rabbis, who in recent days had launched an appeal in extremis to prevent the auction from taking place. “His was a noble and moving gesture. Our appreciation of him – he concluded – knows no limits”.