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Christie’s auction house criticized for selling Nazi-linked jewelry, Yad Vashem refuses donation

Visitors seen at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, April 16, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The prominent British auction house Christie’s is facing Jewish and Israeli criticism after recently selling jewelry linked to the Nazi party from the WWII era for a record sum of $202 million.

The recently-sold jewelry was owned by Heidi Horten, the late Austrian wife of a Nazi party member who reportedly amassed his wealth by acquiring Jewish-owned department stores at a low prices during the Holocaust.

Following the backlash, Christie’s reportedly offered to make large donations to Jewish organizations, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Yad Vashem Israel’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was allegedly one of those Jewish institutions, however, it has refused to accept the donations due to Christie’s recent Nazi-linked sale.

“Christie’s must suspend this sale until full research [into the] link to Nazi era acquisitions [is] completed,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

“Don’t reward those whose families may have gained riches from desperate Jews targeted and threatened by the Nazis,” he added.

Cooper asserted that the current controversy is “a matter of public record. The business practices of Mr. Horten during the Nazi era, when he purchased Jewish businesses sold under duress, are well documented.”

Christie’s announced on its website that it is willing to donate “a significant portion of its commission [from this sale] to organizations that contribute to vitally important Holocaust research and education. It will be up to these organizations, if they so wish, to communicate about these donations.” 

Read more: YAD VASHEM

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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