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eBay in Nazi memorabilia row

Refuses to ban sale of WWII trophies

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eBay has refused to withdraw Nazi memorabilia from its online auction site claiming the items' historical worth is more important than their ideological context. The Internet company was responding to an appeal from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which campaigns for Holocaust remembrance, and the defence of human rights and the Jewish people. In a letter to eBay quoted in Thursday's New York Times, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the centre, asked the Net company "to review its policy of marketing items, many of which glorify Nazism". But Jennifer Mowat, Ebay's UK country manager, said that there are lots of serious and genuine collectors of World War II memorabilia who are not motivated ideologically. That, and the fact that the practice is not illegal (except in Germany), was sufficient grounds for the items not to be withdrawn from sale. "Whether we like it or not this is not illegal," she said. She may be right, but since eBay took a moral stand when it outlawed the sale of weapons on its site -- a practice that is legal in the US -- some people might think it should do the same over the sale of Nazi trinkets. ® Related stories Serial killer sells paintings on eBay eBay babies put up for sale Feds to prosecute eBay hoax baby dealers Man tries to sell vital organ on eBay Slavery returns with eBay auction e-Bay in e-trouble after copied MS software is sold on its site Con man given the boot by eBay

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