Protests force end to Nazi surgical tools sale

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2012

"Ghoulish" surgical tools belonging to a Nazi war criminal have been withdrawn from auction in Cornwall this weekend, after a furious series of protests to the auctioneers.

The hacksaw and scalpels, engraved with the name Anton Burger - SS commandant of the Theresienstadt ghetto - are set in a velvet-lined wooden box. Valued at around £2,000, they were due to be auctioned by James F Kendling and Partners in Bude, Cornwall.

A Kendlings employee said the auctioneers had had a number of distressed and "venomous" phonecalls objecting to the sale, and had called the police about threats that had been made.

Kendlings said the anonymous vendor's family were Jewish and included Holocaust survivors.

Ben Barkow of the Wiener Library said: "They are ghoulish, awful things. Theresienstadt was a ghetto, not a concentration camp, and there were no medical experiments there.

"There is no contribution here to the world of Holocaust education. They have nothing to tell us. No museum would be interested in them. I wouldn't have them in the house. But people want to make money out of it."

Last updated: 12:47pm, February 9 2012