Should we allow the private sale of Nazi memorabilia?

Nazi memorabilia at the Lofoten War Memorial Museum in Norway. (Wolfmann/Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, the Old Strathcona Antique Mall in Edmonton, Alta., came under fire for selling Nazi memorabilia, leading the owner to stop selling Nazi items at all.

This happened months after an antiques shop in Pickering, Ont., was lambasted for its “Controversial Corner”, which included a $25,000 drawing by Adolf Hitler. Around the same time as the Edmonton controversy, an Israeli court suspended the private auction of tools used to tattoo prisoners at Auschwitz, which itself was months after a Montreal auction house was chastised for selling Nazi daggers, helmets, belts, shoes, pouches, patches and flags.

Some argue history cannot be rewritten, and these antiques are simply testaments to a different era; others will decry any sale as profiting off genocide, and insist such items belong in a museum with proper context.

But how can you regulate the sale of private goods? What are the moral implications of selling Nazi items? Should we worry about the threat of white supremacists buying old helmets to hang on their walls? The hosts of Bonjour Chai, our weekly current affairs show, discuss these issues and more.

Plus: We’re kicking off the first-ever Bonjour Chai book club! Read along as Avi, Ilana and David discuss a different Jewish book each week, starting with Joanne Levy’s Sorry For Your Loss. Levy joins to discuss her work and jumpstart our literary liaison.


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold, Ilana Zackon and David Sklar. Michael Fraiman is the producer. Andrew Goulet is the technical producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Find more great Jewish podcasts at