Online auction site eBay issued an apology yesterday, after it was revealed that its users were trading Nazi Holocaust memorabilia.
Among the offensive items uncovered by the Mail on Sunday were yellow Star of David armbands, shoes thought to have belonged to concentration camp victims, and an Auschwitz prisoner uniform.
The complete uniform - which included shirt, trousers, cap, shoes, and an armband from Dachau - was being sold by Viktor Kempf, a Ukranian living in Canada. According to Mr Kempf , a similar uniform was sold online last year for £11,200.
He said: "I understand why people may think profiting is wrong but I sell these items to document [them] and to fund my book projects. 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.
“I have had criticism in the past and I find it upsetting. I don’t want people to think I’m just doing it for the money. These periods in history are horrific, nobody should ever forget them.”
eBay immediately removed around 30 items from its site and offered to donate £25,000 to charity, admitting it had no idea such memorabilia was being sold.
The online retailer, which receives 10 per cent commission on items sold, said in a statement: “We are very sorry these items have been listed on eBay and are removing them.
“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.
It added: “We very much regret that we didn’t live up to our own standards.”