Threats halt 'Nazi' surgical set auction in Cornwall

Surgical set Money from the sale was to have been donated to a children's charity

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A surgical equipment set believed to have been owned by a Nazi commandant has been withdrawn from an auction in Cornwall after phone and email threats.

The set is thought to have once belonged to Maj Anton Burger, commandant of the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II.

The set was due to go under the hammer at Villa Hall Auctions in Bude on Saturday.

Villa Hall and police said the messages prompted safety concerns for staff.

Amputation instruments

Maj Burger commanded the camp in what was then Czechoslovakia.

The set - which is embossed "Anton Burger, Dresden" inside and is believed to contain instruments that would be used in amputations - belonged to the late husband of its current owner.

The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said her husband's parents were Jews held in a concentration camp.

Grace Cloke, from Villa Hall, said: "We've had phone calls and emails which were not of a particularly nice nature.

"We spoke to the police and our clients, and were advised by the police to withdraw it from the sale."

The auction house added that money from the sale of the item was to have been donated to a children's charity.

Devon and Cornwall Police said that they would have a presence at the auction on Saturday, even though the lot had been withdrawn.

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