Mon. May 16th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Hammer falls on Nazi weapons at almost double their estimates

2 min read

Brading-based auction house, HRD Auctions, came in for criticism this week, after refusing to withdraw Nazi, Third Reich and German WWII weapons from their monthly sale.

The collection, in 20 lots, sold for a total of £15,335, against pre-auction estimates of between £6,130 and £8,950. The most expensive lot was a WWII German NPEA student’s dagger with scabbard. The NPEA were elite schools, set up to educate future leaders of the Third Reich. The dagger had been valued at between £400 and £600.

IW Observer reader, Annabel Harrison, of St Helens, was one of three people who contacted us unhappy that the items were being sold on Tuesday. She said: “Thinking of how these weapons may have been used is chilling.

“For many people, Jewish or not, the Holocaust, in which at least six million people were murdered, still causes deep feelings of revulsion and horror. For HRD Auctions to earn commission from selling such items, is at the very least distasteful. Selling them is banned in many countries and even on Ebay. Such items are highly prized by extreme right-wing groups and some people at the viewing expressed their disgust.

“HRD refused to withdraw the items prior to the sale. They should now donate their 20 per cent commission to an appropriate charity, but I hold out little hope of them doing the right thing.”

A spokesman for the company said: “We would not entertain selling anything if it were illegal to do so. We do fully understand how selling certain items could offend some people. But different items could upset different people.

“Some would say that any sort of militaria has potentially had a chequered past; some medals may have been given for campaigns withcolonial purposes; vintage swords could have seen action. We see decommissioned antique firearms; we are unable to know what they may have been used for. Hunting and fishing equipment will offend some. The list could be very long.

“The collection in question came as part of an estate where there was equal measure of British and foreign military artefacts. It belonged to a collector who, we understand, served in World War II but is now sadly deceased.”

HRD Auctions is a separate company to Hose Rhodes Dickson Estate Agents.