Shop condemned for selling Auschwitz-themed miniskirts, pillows and tote bags

Shop condemned for selling Auschwitz-themed miniskirts, pillows and tote bags

An online shop has been slammed for selling miniskirts, pillows and tote bags with images of the Auschwitz concentration camp where Nazis murdered over a million innocent people.

Redbubble was selling a £30 miniskirt showing a black-and-white image of chimneys at the site where victims – mostly Jews – were starved and gassed en masse, and their bodies burned in crematoria.

A photo of railway tracks leading to Auschwitz-Birkenau was printed on a £34 throw pillow for a sofa, while a £12 tote bag featured a shot of an electric fence that prevented prisoners from escaping.

The "unacceptable" products were pulled from the website after they sparked outrage and complaints from the Auschwitz Memorial, which preserves the site of the Nazi death camp.

It is estimated that at least 1.3million people – 90 per cent of them Jews – were sent to the concentration and extermination camp in German-occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust.

Of those, 1.1million were murdered.

After discovering the products on Redbubble, the Auschwitz memorial tweeted: "Do you really think that selling such products as pillows, mini skirts or tote bags with the images of Auschwitz – a place of enormous human tragedy where over 1,1 million people were murdered – is acceptable?

"This is rather disturbing and disrespectful."

A response on Redbubble's Twitter account read: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The nature of this content is not acceptable and is not in line with our Community Guidelines.

"We are taking immediate action to remove these and similar works available on these product types.

"Redbubble is the host of an online marketplace where independent users take responsibility for the images they upload.

"We have onsite reporting functions in place and are grateful to be made aware of these concerns."

The company bills itself as a marketplace for "awesome products designed by independent artists".

It faced anger on social media as screen grabs of the Auschwitz-themed products went viral.

Marina Amaral, the founder of Faces of Auschwitz who restores and colorises black and white photos, wrote on Twitter: "Disgusting."

Another user wrote: "Absolutely disgusting putting these images on things like these. Hopefully no one in their right mind will buy them."

One tweeted: "How very disrespectful to the memories of those murdered by the Nazis and the pain of their families."

And another user wrote of Redbubble's response: "Ridiculous response. An idiot can see what needs to be done here. Who do you think is buying this stuff?"

The Auschwitz Memorial also tweeted a photo of a Redbubble listing for a £14 T-shirt with a bearded figure and the words "Dr Holocaust wants you to get a beard".

Redbubble, which has its headquarters in Australia, said it had taken taken immediate action to remove the items and stressed that it was individual users who bare responsibility for the images they upload.

"Redbubble takes a strong stance against racism and violence, including the atrocities committed in Nazi concentration camps," the firm said.

"We have onsite reporting functions in place should community members discover works that breach these guidelines that have not yet been removed by our team.

"We are grateful when any such material on the site is brought to our attention."

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