What to Know
- One of the nation's busiest auction sites for firearms has also played host to hundreds of ads for Nazi memorabilia and Holocaust artifacts
- Gunbroker.com is mainly a gun sale site but Holocaust relics have also popped up there
- Among the items being sold: barbed wire purportedly from Auschwitz, a yarmulke purportedly warned by a prisoner at Buchenwald
One of the nation's busiest auction sites for firearms has also played host to hundreds of ads for Nazi memorabilia and Holocaust artifacts, the I-Team has learned.
Gunbroker.com is a website mainly dedicated to the purchase and sale of guns and ammunition. But the I-Team discovered the site also hosts a trade in personal items once owned by victims of Nazi genocide, including clothing worn by Jewish people imprisoned at concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Many of the relics are in a category labeled "WW2 Collectibles."
"Personal items from victims of the Holocaust should not be called 'collectibles,'" said Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League. "These are not baseball cards that you trade or that you hope will rise in value someday."
Among the items being sold alongside firearms on Gunbroker.com:
- A $285 piece of barbed wire, purportedly from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
- A death record documenting the murder of a Jewish prisoner. The starting bid was $885.
- A yarmulke, purportedly owned by a Jewish prisoner at the Buchenwald death camp. The list price -- $245.
"This is somebody's shoes. Somebody's yarmulke. Somebody's pajamas that they wore in a concentration camp," Segal said. "In what world is that OK to sell on a gun site? And in what world would a company not respond to the concerns of the community."
Holocaust survivors echoed the ADL's concern.
Sol Rosenkranz, a survivor of the Buchenwald death camp, said the only permissible way to sell personal items owned by Jews sent to Nazi death camps would be if the proceeds went to museums.
When asked about selling them for profit next to guns, Rosenkranz said, "It's degrading."
"It's really abhorrent. It's the height of bad taste," added Rosenkranz's son Joel.
The ADL is calling on Gunbroker.com to develop a policy regulating the sale of Nazi memorabilia on its platform.
Gunbroker.com did not immediately respond to a requests for comment from the I-Team.
After the I-Team emailed Viktor Kempf, a man who posted many of the Holocaust related ads, Kempfsaid he was removing them from the gun sales website. However, Kempf defended selling the artifacts, saying it is "very important [to have] Holocaust artifacts on the market. It's helped the people remember that awful period of history and never repeat it."
This isn't the first time Kempf has been pressured to remove ads for the sale of personal items once owned by Holocaust victims.
After public uproar in 2013, many of Kempf's ads for Holocaust relics were kicked off of eBay.