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eBay apologizes for selling Holocaust souvenirs

Online auction site eBay has apologized for selling Holocaust souvenirs, including the clothing of concentration camp victims, and pulled the 30 items from sale.

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White roses left by mourners lie next to one of the many plaques detailing transports of Berlin Jews to concentration camps at the Gleis 17 (Track 17) memorial on the 70th anniversary of the deportations on Oct 18 in Berlin. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

Online auction site eBay has apologized after it was found to be selling apparent Holocaust souvenirs, including the clothing of concentration camp victims.

According to The Daily Mail, the 30 items included shoes and a suitcase from concentration camp prisoners, Star of David armbands and the alleged uniform of a Polish baker who died at Auschwitz.

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Sunday's report drew immediate and widespread condemnation, with a rabbi in Los Angeles calling it "flat out disgusting" for eBay to profit from the sale of such items.

“This is taking the sale of Nazi death camp memorabilia to the mainstream. It is deplorable," Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told The Telegraph.

“These precious items only belong in museums because they are witnesses to history. This trade is demeaning to everyone who died in the Holocaust.”

eBay apologized and pulled the items from its site within hours of the Mail's report on Sunday.

Company officials said they had donated $40,000 to an "appropriate charity."

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"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. We very much regret that we didn't live up to our own standards," the company said in a statement.

The seller, a Ukrainian now living in Canada who describes himself as a historian, said the clothes were genuine and insisted he didn't mean to offend.

“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 Mail on Sunday.

“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.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/131103/ebay-apologizes-selling-holocaust-souvenirs