Nazi Heir Offends Yad Vashem
Tries to sell museum grandfather Rudolph Hoess’s possessions
While descendants of Holocaust victims the world over continue to seek retribution—and reparations—for stolen property, an heir of one of the genocide’s perpetrators is looking to make a buck off the idea of “never forgetting.” The grandson of Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hoess offered some of his grandfather’s effects to Israeli Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem—for a price. “Quite a few organizations wanted to buy them from us, including well-known media such as Der Spiegel and the Axel Springer publishing company,” said Hoess the younger. “I thought that it would be appropriate to sell the items to Yad Vashem. I do not want these items to get into the wrong hands.” So maybe his heart was in the right place, but his seeming obliviousness to the symbolic significance of his “offer” and ignorance of protocol surrounding the atrocities is worrying. He seems never to even have considered donating the artifacts—when asked by The Philadelphia Bulletin about that possibility, he responded, “That is a good question. I can’t make a decision like that on my own. My tendency is to agree to donate the items, but I will need to consult the rest of the family. We want the items to go to a museum that deals with history.” At least that rules out this place.