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Sun June 29 2014 17:58:22

Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

By: Julia Wilkinson

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There's sometimes a fine line between what is considered an important piece of history and what some consider downright offensive. One of these situations may exist with eBay prohibiting the auction of a 1941 Mercedes Benz 540K Cabriolet B that was owned by Hitler henchman Hermann Goering.

The car is now being restored by High Velocity Classics and European Cars of Boca Raton, Fla., and High Velocity Classics general manager Steven Saffer worries the auto will not be able to get high-profile attention, according to an article in the Sun-Sentinel.

Saffer, who is Jewish, estimated that once restored, the car would be worth some $5-$7 million dollars. His wish was that "a group of wealthy Jews will be interested in purchasing it for display in a museum such as Yad Vashem in Jerusalem," he told the Sentinel, which noted that Hitler's Grosser Mercedes is on display at a Canadian war museum.

But what Saffer sees as history, eBay sees as offensive. "eBay has policies that prohibit the sale of offensive materials and content, including Nazi-related items," eBay spokesman Ryan Moore said in an email to the Sentinel.

Of course, eBay has policies that prohibit many types of items, including "Offensive material – examples include ethnically or racially offensive material and Nazi memorabilia." However, some Nazi-related items are allowed for sale, such as:

- Stamps, letters, and envelopes displaying Nazi postmarks
- Currency issued by the Nazi German government, including military scripts
- Items that have a swastika that are not related to Nazi Germany (such as good luck charms, Native American blankets, Buddhist sculptures)
- Replica or novelty stamps or currency of Nazi Germany (must comply with the currency and stamp policies) even if they contain images of swastikas or German leaders

A recent stamp auction featuring Hitler's profile, and a Tunis Nazi stamp (asking price $1299.99 or Best Offer)  were among those in a lot for sale on the site as part of these types of items which are exceptions from the rest of the eBay Nazi item policy.

Some questions arise in my mind are, would most people be offended by the sale of this German car (which was apparently repainted green and with a star upon its capture at the end of World War II by the American Army), or would it not matter to them? Would it depend on how the proceeds of the sale were used - such as, as Saffer said - for display in a Holocaust museum?

But one can't control who would be the winning bidder and what they would do with the historic vehicle.

Still, sometimes which items are prohibited and which aren't don't seem to make sense; why are the stamps OK but other items not? Why do some vegetarians wear leather? And will the descendants of the art pilfered by the Nazis - which I blogged about a short while ago - ever really see their treasures returned to them?

There were some interesting responses on that blog post, by the way, such as from one dealer who sought to have such items go to nonprofits or museums.

What do you think? Would the auction of this car be offensive to you? Do you think the list of prohibited items on online selling sites such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy make sense, or what would you change about them? Post a comment here!

Comments (20) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sun Jun 29 19:31:07 2014

I suspect that the car has now got the attention Saffer was seeking ... Needless to say eBay are always prepared to bumble along on such PR stunts ...

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 30 09:06:33 2014

I would think that if you had relatives etc that were in the concentration camps you would be down outright offended that the nazi stuff even exists.

If you are under 50 you would probably find it interesting.

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 30 11:31:00 2014

Speaking as a Jew and a Historian, and a collector of WWII historical memorabilia there are lines you do not
Cross, there really is no ambiguity here.

1) first and foremost nothing related to the holocaust should ever be sold period
2) Nothing related the SS
3) Nothing that belonged to the architects of destruction should EVER be sold

While Goring was not involved in the holocaust per se, remember this was the man who commanded the terror firebombing of cities such as Rotterdam and Warsaw

NOT in the course of warfare but to make life so horrific the leaders of these countries would have no choice but to surrender, the Nazi tactic was to specifically slaughter civilians.

The thought this vehicle transported this monster from his stolen villas full of plundered artworks, to his command center where he casually ordered the death of thousands should make any normal person want to burn it, not drive it

It belongs in a museam or a Junkpile... Not in some lunatics private garage
It is a DISGRACE that was put up for sale
Ebay was right to pull it

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 30 12:04:10 2014

@orwellwasright

AMEN

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Mon Jun 30 13:46:25 2014

Orwell, thanks for your input...valuable to hear! I hope the paintings make it back to the owners' families/descendants but I doubt they all will. :/

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jun 30 15:27:52 2014

Sales of Nazi death camp memorabilia was A-OK with eBay until the press blew the whistle on it.

Goering's automobile is a now classic one that happened to belong to the head of the German Luftwaffe.

Not like selling bricks from the crematory at Dachau.

Under eBay's misguided rules, a sale of one or all of Jesse Owen's 1936 Summer Olympic medals would be forbidden as a sale of Nazi memorabilia.

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jul 1 09:15:05 2014

It's a piece of history. History is very often unpleasant. Based on the number of shows on The History Channel and The American Heroes Channel related to Hitler and the Nazis, it would appear that there are lots of people who are interested in what occurred during that period. It was horrible, but it happened. And we don't have a Ministry of Truth to change the facts.

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 09:17:31 2014

Anyone who would even consider selling a car with that background on ebay is asking for trouble. SNAD, Not delivered on time etc etc. will demand and probably get a full or partial refund.  

Only a few exceptions of Nazi items should be blocked. That is something that we (as a human race) should not forget. A very important part of history. Lets not make the same mistake again. There is too much genocide going on now. When will it end??

Sorry for going political.

ebay does whatever is in the best interest of the stock price. Regardless of the items. Historic or otherwise.

ebay has blocked Nazi items because of fear of backlash on stock price. Has nothing to do with historical value.  

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 09:45:01 2014

@orwellwasright

It's important to remember the Nazi's, Hitler, Concentration camps, etc.   So many have already forgotten, or never learned, about an evil man that rose to power and started to annex territory in a financially distraught Europe while a war weary United States sat back, doing nothing, while millions were lead to slaughter.  Surely nothing like that would ever happen again, right?  

While it might be offensive to see these things sold, without a financial motive, these things wouldn't exist at all, and we'd be worse off.  The ruling classes would love to see us forget about the tactics of past tyrants. The use of ''political correctness'' to push away what offends us rather than embrace it furthers to objectives of the ruling class.

If Nazi memorabilia offends you, I say good. Thinking about the actions of Hitler and his minions should upset us, keeping us ever alert, lest it happen again.  It's when it's no longer offensive because it carries no meaning to us, that we should be worried.

As for eBay not allowing the sale, it's purely political and social pressure because so many wish it never happened and choose to live in a fantasy world believing the world is the way the want it to be rather than the way it really is.  

-Steve

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 10:07:43 2014

AS a Jew---and some one also deeply interested in history and researching the past ancient or more modern---I am torn on this.

Sad to say a lot of the art work lacks provenance.  Not that this excuses ANYONE from not TRYING to return these works.

This car however---it lacks nothing in the way of documentation as the Nazis were fanatics on this.  

Should ebay be party to it?  NO.  But then again--I don't think they should offer ANYTHING with a Nazi theme--and several other themes also spring to mind--on the site that ebay management seem to feel are perfectly acceptable.  

And on yet another hand---I cannot see forcing the--what?-disposal of this?  OR forcing the current owner to keep it for--how long?  Ever? What happens when THEY die?

In a perfect world this would go to a Museum--Yad Vashem is a good choice if they will accept it---but I can also see the need for the current owner to re-pay for the work being done.  

This could open up a whole new set of discussions on items such as this.

But at bottom--EBAY as a corporation with many conflicting "rules" on these things should take a thinking day or week and MAKE UP IT'S MIND on what is offensive and what is not.

And then let the market decide.  

Where are  Sothebys and the OTHER major auctions houses on this????  Ebay is a very POOR second choice on something of this nature and price.  

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 10:58:13 2014

Comet has summarized what I was thinking all along: issues of taste or offensiveness aside, eBay is simply a ludicrously poor choice of venue to sell any high-value artifact. Scammers and sport bidders abound, and people with sufficient funds to buy high-priced items also have enough sense to want to inspect the item in person first.

Wanting to sell the car on eBay is a marvelous publicity stunt, but a poor business decision. However, a successful outcome to this actually involves getting publicity for the plan (check!), followed by a refusal from eBay, to ensure that they don't really have to go through with it (check!). They will then sell it through an auction house that's geared up to actually deal with the sale on a professional basis.

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 11:32:40 2014

This is garbage there re plenty of Nazi related junk on eBay its overlooked if not priced or auctioned at $0.00 start....

I bought some fake Nazi gold bullion pieces (plated)as a calibration weight for my shipping scales.

Cost $0.25 sets that go by dram,ounce, gram,pound & kilogram. It holds no value gold or the swastika Hitler stole svastika or savasti from Hindu ---the weight measures are precise as excellent calibration weights that run much more. It only means something if one hypes worth as real bullion not truth precise dead weight is dead weight..Meh but admit he really spun some great attention grabbing hype.Based off attention some dummy will pay for more than worth.  

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: gejbooks This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 13:41:50 2014

First, I agree that this is just a publicity stunt.  If the owner really cares where the car goes he would donate it - not hope that 'wealthy jews' would buy it.

Just wanted to share a brief anecdote about a (late) Jewish friend of mine and his view of Nazi relics.  He escaped to the US from occupied Poland and joined US Military Intelligence.  

Landed right after D-Day and moved with front-line troops interrogating captured Nazi officers and officials, was present at the liberation of some of the camps, and came home with a box of horrific photos as proof of what he had witnessed (he believed even then that people would deny the Holocaust).

He also came home with a damask tablecloth that belonged to Hitler, complete with monograms and Nazi symbols.  His family uses it for Passover Seder.  That might offend many people, he felt it is necessary to remember.

 

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 17:07:50 2014

When I see Nazi items, I am reminded of the millions of lives that were ended before their time. Doesn't matter to me what Religion or Race they were, they still had a right to live. Genocide or Ethnic cleansing, should be stopped by all Nations, sooner, rather than later.
I never think of Nazi memorabilia as being bad or good. It is just pieces of paper, metal or other material from history that was created by man.  

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 1 22:03:12 2014

Oh no! how offensive.... gimme sellers address and I'll gladly dispose of that offensive eysore!

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Wed Jul 2 16:40:12 2014

Depends what it is frankly.  Items such as like cups and saucers or clothing with nazi logos or anything of that nature is ok.  zyklon b canisters however, not so much.  

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by: Europa This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 3 00:45:34 2014

50 million people died in WW2,and not just Jews. That war,was declared against Germany by Britain,and France(World Empires)  on September over a very real border dispute Germany was having with the Poland. The World Jewish Congress ALSO declared war,on Germany. Herman Goring,used his Luftwaffe not for ANY "TERROR BOMBING".nor did Allied Intelligence,even say so. But the Allies did ! 5 million German citizens were killed in firebombed cities.See: FIRESTORM OVER GERMANY.MT Goodrich,THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN,Irving.. The same with Japan,culminating with Hiroshima ,and Nagaski. Should Harry Truman's Chrysler New Yorker be banned? Any group,who demands ,this or that historical artifact should be censored is pushing tyranny . As for compensation. How much is enough? There was ONLY 2.9 million Jews in Europe during WW2,and 4.8 demanded compensation after the war! But those Nazis sure where clever ! Wiped out '6 million',in only 22 months,during wartime,by 'gassing],and no residue,gas masks,special suits,or airtight doors ! I will buy,sell,read,study,and express my opinion on any issue. No group particularly Jews who,as we speak,rule my country through the Federal Reserve,AIPAC,and media,plus hold 1.7 million Palestinians in slavery,will order me to other wise !  

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This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Thu Jul 3 00:47:10 2014

prejudice much?

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Sat Jul 5 18:17:21 2014

''While Goring was not involved in the holocaust per se ...''

On July 31, 1941, Nazi leader Hermann Goering authorized SS General Reinhard Heydrich to make preparations for the implementation of a ''complete solution of the Jewish question.''

This is so well-documented, meeting minutes where the final solution was discussed with Goering still exist.

It would be macabre to auction off President Kennedy's limo on eBay, because of the role it played in an evil turn of events. But Goering's car - who cares - there is nothing about the car itself that personifies evil events.

If you had a car that you felt was worth 5-67 million (no way!) would you auction it off on eBay? Just a well-orchestrated lame baloney advertising stunt.

Perminate Link for Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes   Historic or Offensive? EBay Bans Nazi Goering Mercedes

by: tony bonn This user has validated their user name.
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Sun Jul 6 23:21:13 2014

ebay is another communist organization fulfilling the ziocon vision of erasing history because of "feelings". the car is as valid an historical artifact as any other, and passing totalitarian rules about what is acceptable is grossly hypocritical and exactly what they say hitler would do. maybe ebay should get bracelets for all of their employees (including the sleers) etched WWHD - what would hitler do? the outcome here would be most predictable.

the holocaust is a total lie to boot. and the fact that hitler lived until 1965 adds even greater interest to the vehicle.



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