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Amazon pulls death-camp-themed Christmas ornaments after complaints from Auschwitz museum

2019-12-02 11:00:00

A Holocaust museum in Poland called on Amazon to remove a range of WWII death-camp-themed Christmas tree decorations, bottle-openers and mousepads from its sales platform.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum spotted the shocking items listed for sale via Amazon on Sunday morning. The online store offered a bell-shaped tree-hanging ornament depicting the iconic Auschwitz railway station, where prisoners were transported by the Nazis for slave labor and extermination.

There were also snowflake-shaped ornaments depicting the Krakow Ghetto, set up by the Nazis to round up Jews in occupied Poland, and similarly designed bottle-openers and mousepads. The Holocaust-themed items were listed as souvenirs.

“The ideal city souvenir to commemorate and share the cities you have visited. Can give it to a friend on different occasions as a gift,” the description read.

The museum said selling such products is not appropriate and “rather disturbing and disrespectful,” calling for Amazon to pull the items from sale. Following the backlash, the Seattle-based company complied.

“The products in question have been removed,” an Amazon spokesperson said, stressing that all sellers must abide by the company’s guidelines. The Auschwitz museum also alerted online store Wish on Monday about the same items being sold on its website.

When similarly bizarre entries popped up on Amazon in the past, some commenters online suggested that sellers may have actually used software bots to automatically generate their products without checking the content.

More than 1.1 million people perished in the Auschwitz complex during WWII, with the vast majority of the victims being Jewish.

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© (L) Andreas Gebert / Reuters; (R) Wikipedia
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