A top hat that belonged to demented Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has been bought by a multimillionaire Lebanese businessman to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Swiss-based tycoon Abdallah Chatila paid €600,000 (about £514,000) for a number of items of Nazi memorabilia because he wanted to ensure that they didn’t end up in the possession of far-right fanatics.
The auction lot included, as well as Hitler’s hat, several letters belonging to the fascist leader, a typewriter, a cigarette case, and a silver-framed special edition of Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” which once belonged to Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering.
Mr Chatila said: “I wanted to prevent these items from falling into the wrong hands. Actually, I wanted to buy them and then destroy them. I want to see that they were gone forever. But now I have decided to give them to the Jews.
“They suffered the most under Hitler, who was the personification of the devil. They should now be allowed to decide what happens to these things.”
He added that he hoped the items “that I never wanted to touch” would eventually be exhibited in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.
He said he now wanted the items to be preserved as “a warning to future generations.”
He continued: “There should be no difference between religions, cultures and skin colour.”
They will be handed over to Israeli fundraising organisation Keren Hayesod once experts have checked their authenticity.
Mr Chatila said that he would like them to end up in the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem: “I do not want fakes to come to Yad Vashem. Once they are confirmed as genuine, I will then transfer the money over for them.”