Amazon has recently come under fire for its third-party selling of Auschwitz death camp Christmas ornaments, featuring contemporary photographs of the infamous Birkenau railroad gate, barbed electrified wire fences and guard towers. CNN reported that “Scores of commenters expressed outrage, with several saying they had contacted Amazon about the Nazi-linked novelties.”
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland went on Twitter to condemn the online retailer. Amazon halted the sale of the decorations, a mouse pad and a bottle opener.
Why this kind of merchandise would be considered acceptable is a mystery. This tempest erupted during a year that has seen an increasing amount of anti-Semitic activity throughout the world and little more than a week after the Spanish fashion brand Loewe apologized and withdrew a $950 shirt-and-pants outfit amid complaints that its black and white stripes resembled those of worn by concentration-camp prisoners.
This is not the only Auschwitz related incident of questionable judgement. Earlier in December the New York Post reported that the International Skating Union included “an outfit made of Auschwitz uniforms worn by a Russian skater among a “best costume” list — then, after a public outcry, removed it and said it was included by mistake.” He was skating while to the theme from “Schindler’s List” during a free skate routine in November.
And then there was the 2007 faux pas (insensitive) design from Zara.