An influencer is slamming eBay for ‘profiting’ off the Holocaust after she found artefacts being sold as ‘collectibles’ online for thousands of dollars.
Chelsey Brown, 28, from New York, often explores thrift stores, antique shops, and online marketplaces in an attempt to find old diaries, letters, and documents, and she then tries to reunite them with the people or the descendants of the people who they used to belong to.
While trawling eBay recently for such items, she was horrified to find a listing for ‘Holocaust collectibles’ – which appears to show various items up for auction at a starting bid of $4,950.
Now, she is bashing the e-commerce corporation for making money off the ‘torture and pain’ of WWII victims.
An influencer is slamming eBay for ‘profiting’ off the Holocaust after she found artefacts being sold as ‘collectibles’ online for thousands of dollars
Chelsey Brown, 28, often explores thrift stores in an attempt to find old documents, and she then tries to reunite them with the descendants of the people they used to belong to
While trawling eBay recently for such items, she was horrified to find a listing for ‘Holocaust collectibles’ – which appears to show various items up for auction at a starting bid of $4,950
A search for ‘Holocaust collectibles’ on eBay today shows dozens of items for sale – from photographs and train tickets to correspondence between family members
‘They are profiting off of the torture and pain of these victims,’ Chelsey told Jam Press.
Now, Chelsey, from New York, is bashing the e-commerce corporation for making money off the ‘torture and pain’ of WWII victims
‘Holocaust artefacts and documentation is something I am beyond passionate about, especially when it comes to heirloom returns.
‘Unfortunately, Holocaust artifacts are sold for ridiculous prices, are auctioned for thousands of dollars, or sold underground.
‘It’s something not many people discuss – but it’s a real problem in the world of family artifacts.
‘Sometimes, I’ll use eBay to find old letters or photo albums, and I saw an ad for a Holocaust letter pop up – this was back in September.
‘That’s when I deep-dived into the horrific world of how Holocaust documentation is sold.
‘I had someone message me on IG just the other day that they saw their grandmother’s holocaust diary on eBay, and the seller would not go lower on price so she could have that item back. It sold to someone else.
‘The Holocaust did not happen that long ago and people forget their survivors still live to this day. These items belong with their rightful families – and not being sold for profit.
Chelsey said: ‘These items belong with their rightful families – and not being sold for profit.’ Some of the Holocaust collectibles that are on sale on eBay are pictured
‘The Holocaust trade is a sick one – and people are buying these items to keep in their “collections.”‘
A search for ‘Holocaust collectibles’ on eBay today shows dozens of items for sale – from photographs and train tickets to correspondence between family members.
One item – a set of Red Cross letters between parents in Budapest and their son in Jerusalem from 1941 to 1944 – is selling for $600.
She said the re-selling off Holocaust items at a ‘ridiculous’ high price has become a ‘real problem’ in the ‘world of family artifacts’ and that it’s something she is ‘beyond passionate’ about
Another correspondence between a deceased man and his family is listed for $200, while a photo of a Jewish boy in Budapest is on sale for $450.
Back in 2013, eBay faced scrutiny for a similar situation, and after an investigation took place, the company apologized and removed around 30 items of memorabilia from the Holocaust that were for sale.
‘We are very sorry that these items have been listed on eBay and we are removing them,’ eBay spokesman Steve Heywood said at the time.
‘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.
‘We very much regret that we didn’t live up to our own standards. We have made a donation to charity to reflect our concern.’
And now, Chelsey believes that the site has failed to maintain standards around the selling of such items.
She reached out to eBay, writing in an email, ‘You have profited millions off of holocaust documents, items, and mementos which directly disrespects the victims of the holocaust, those living and deceased.
‘You state in your terms that, “Historical Holocaust-related and Nazi-related items, including reproductions and any items from after 1933 that bears a swastikas” is forbidden, yet these items are listed for sale and auction and you continue to profit millions off of these artifacts.’
In response to Chelsey, eBay said: ‘eBay generally does not prohibit historical documents, including letters and postcards.
‘In response to Ms. Brown’s correspondence, we are reviewing our policy to update the relevant sections to clarify what is prohibited.’
Chelsey then voiced her outrage over the sales on Instagram with her 92,000 followers.
She said: ‘Items end up at flea markets and in resellers hands for two main reasons. One, family drama – someone gets access to an estate and doesn’t give the items to the rest of the family.
‘And two, many items were lost after WWII as many families moved around the country. Items were lost during those moves and continue to circulate to this day.
Chelsey reached out to eBay (her email to them is pictured), and in response, they said they ‘do not prohibit historical documents, including letters and postcards’
She then voiced her outrage over the sales on Instagram with her 92,000 followers, and many of them took to the comment section to ridicule eBay
‘These artifacts should go back to the families first, and if that’s not an option, then to historians or a museum. But always the family first.
‘eBay should be ashamed for not only letting sellers profit off of the torture of these victims, but for them to profit off it as well.’
The post was liked more than 7,000 times, with many of Chelsey’s followers taking to the comment section to ridicule eBay.
One person commented: ‘This should be illegal – having artifacts from someone’s family when they have family members still alive that want them and profiting off it, is sick.’
‘This is devastating I have no words for people would sell Holocaust materials,’ another user said.
Someone else added: ‘Ugh that’s terrible.’
‘What!? That’s despicable,’ agreed a different user.
Another viewer commented: ‘Omg that’s so awful, I was unaware.’
Jam Press has contacted eBay for comment.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk