Jewish Leader Fails to Prevent New Zealand Auction of Hitler Photo

Signed 1933 photograph estimated to be worth 2,000-4,000 New Zealand dollars ($1,600-$3,200).

Wellington - A New Zealand auction house has rejected calls by the Jewish community to withdraw a signed photograph of Adolf Hitler and his deputy Rudolf Hess from a sale of military items next week, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The 1933 photograph, which the Dominion Post said had been put up for sale before without success, is estimated to be worth between 2,000 and 4,000 New Zealand dollars (about 1,600-3,200 U.S. dollars).

David Zwartz, a Jewish community leader and Israel's honorary consul in New Zealand, said the auction of the photograph and other Nazi items, including a Luftwaffe helmet, was "deeply distasteful."

"It promotes a view that gives prominence and support for people who were immensely evil and caused a lot of harm to the Jewish people and to the world at large," he told the paper.

But auctioneer Bettina Frith said: "I don't have a problem with it. It's part of history now. You could say anything about any of the wars."