A Lebanese-born business tycoon says he is donating Hitler’s top hat and other Nazi memorabilia he won at an auction to an Israeli Jewish group to keep the stuff out of the hands of neo-Nazis.
Abdallah Chatila, who made his fortune in diamonds and Swiss real estate, paid $660,000 for the items last week.
He says he bought the the hat and memorabilia intending to destroy it, but decided it was better to hand it over to the Keren Hayeson-United Israel Appeal.
Along with the Nazi dictator’s hat, the items include a silver plated edition of “Mein Kampf,” and a typewriter used by Hitler’s secretary.
Although Chatila says some Lebanese are criticizing him for helping the so-called enemy, his act was totally non-political. He said he “wished to buy these objects so that they could not be used for the purpose of neo-Nazi propaganda.”
The European Jewish Association, which had originally protested the auction, is now applauding Chatila.
“Such a consequence, such an act of selfless generosity to do something that you feel strongly about is the equivalent of finding a precious diamond in an Everest of coal,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin wrote in a letter to Chatila.
It is unclear what the Jewish group plans to do with the objects.