This week, spokespersons for several separate Dutch museums announced that in recent months WWII museums in the region have been looted by thieves who have stolen large quantities Nazi memories: helmets, weapons, parachutes, uniforms and other miscellaneous items with a cumulative value of approximately $ 1.77 million. The thefts, which took place in museums in the cities of Beek, Limburg and Ossendrecht, gave rise to in-depth reviews of the security of national museums. In response, several Dutch museums have also removed their most valuable items from the exhibition, fearing a new wave of thefts. The smash-and-grab acts also seemed extremely coordinated and calculated.
“They drilled holes in the door to lower the handle from the inside”, Jan de Jonge, the owner of the Oorlogsmuseum raided in Ossendrecht, said to Guardian. “I didn’t hear anything while I was sleeping on the other side of the wall. SS uniforms, daggers, helmets, emblems, caps, parachutes, firearms, binoculars, etc. Nothing remains. “De Jonge added that the thieves” took nothing from the allies. A French, English, Canadian corner: all intact. German material, especially clothing, is scarce. Wim Seelen, the owner of the Beek Museum, also burgled, also told the Guardian that the extent of the theft indicated that it had been requested by a very powerful entity. “They knew what they were looking for” Seelen said. “The only thing I can find is that someone ordered it. “
The prospect of an extremely wealthy individual having major museum thefts in his name is disturbing, but also quite possible: in recent years the legitimate auction and exchange of Nazi memorabilia has increased. exponentially. In January 2019, Hitler’s bunker phone sold for $ 243,000, and just this week, Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland auctioned the globe-themed bar on Hitler’s yacht. Not only is there a booming market for Nazi memorabilia, there now appears to be people willing to carry out coordinated attacks on museums in order to obtain them.