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eBay Criticized After Holocaust Souvenirs Hit The Online Auction Blocks

Hitler Era Artifacts Like Star Of David Armbands Advertised; Site Apologizes

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After controversial Holocaust souvenirs were found on its website, eBay apologized to consumers on Monday.

The wildly popular online auction site had come under fire after the memorabilia was listed for sale, CBS 2’s Tamara Leitner reported.

“That’s appalling. I’m glad they took it down,” said Brad Merchant of Midtown.

“I wouldn’t want to buy them,” added Mark Taylor of Midtown.

Rabbi Steven Burg said he started getting calls about the unusual eBay items last week.

“It was bizarre. Not something you would normally see and offensive to a lot of people,” said Burg, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“Things that come from the Holocaust should not be for sale on eBay. They should not just be out there. They should be preserved,” Burg added.

Hitler era artifacts that were being sold included Star of David armbands that were used to mark Jews for persecution, and clothes of concentration camp victims.

“I think in today’s day and age you can’t necessarily control it, but what you can control is when people are offended or people complain they can do something about it right away,” Burg said.

The controversial items were removed by eBay. The site also issued an apology, which read: “We don’t allow listings of this nature, and dedicate thousands of staff to policing our site …”

But not everyone agrees.

“They should put it back up. Holocaust items are important,” said Pankil Shah of New Jersey.

“I, personally as a black person, if they had slave items listed on eBay I would be offended, so for Holocaust items I believe they should also be offended and not be sold,” added a woman from Brooklyn.

“With memorabilia like that it’s a part of history and to deny that happened is even more dangerous than just not selling it,” said Charles Quittner of the Upper East Side.

According to eBay’s own policy it does not allow items that glorify hate or promote religious intolerance.

There were about 30 items that were removed, and eBay has made a donation to what it calls an appropriate charity, Leitner reported.

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