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eBay: We’re sorry we allowed Holocaust memorabilia to be listed on our website

The world’s biggest online marketplace has removed the listings from its website and will donate nearly €30,000 to charity.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

EBAY HAS APOLOGISED and removed from its listings about 30 items of Holocaust memorabilia after a British newspaper reported that items including a striped concentration camp uniform were on sale.

The uniform, thought to have been worn by a Polish baker who died in the Auschwitz death camp, had an asking price of £11,200 (€13,000), the Mail on Sunday reported.

Yellow Star of David armbands, which Jewish people were forced to wear in some Nazi-occupied areas, were also on sale over the past week, it said.

EBay apologised today and said the listings were being removed, while it would donate £25,000 (€29,200) to an “appropriate charity”.

“We don’t allow listings of this nature, and dedicate thousands of staff to policing our site and use the latest technology to detect items that shouldn’t be for sale,” eBay, which is the world’s biggest online marketplace, said in a statement.

“We very much regret that we didn’t live up to our own standards.”

It said it did not know for how long the memorabilia had been on sale. The apparent concentration camp uniform was being sold in a US dollar listing by a Ukrainian man, Victor Kempf, living in Canada, the Mail reported.

It was linked by a serial number stitched on its breast to a Polish Holocaust victim born in 1912, the Mail reported. Kempf said he was a historian and had bought the clothing from a US dealer.

“I understand why people may think profiting is wrong but I sell these items to document (them) and to fund my book projects,” he told the newspaper.

“If I was a descendant of a victim, I would want to see how my relatives lived. I would want to buy these items to remember them. “I don’t want people to think I’m just doing it for the money.”

Other listings on the site included toothbrushes said to be from Auschwitz and a pair of shoes belonging to a death camp victim, advertised at £940, the Mail said.

The Nazis’ genocidal “Final Solution” claimed the lives of six million of pre-war Europe’s 11 million Jews. They also killed large numbers of Roma, gay people, and other groups persecuted by Adolf Hitler’s regime.

© AFP 2013

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