Amazon Removes Auschwitz Christmas Ornaments Following Backlash
The ornaments drew outrage after the Auschwitz Memorial shared them on Twitter.
Amazon has removed Christmas ornaments depicting the Auschwitz concentration camp from its site following backlash on social media. On Sunday, the official Twitter account for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum posted screenshots of bell- and snowflake-shaped ornaments on sale on Amazon that featured photos of the Nazi camp where more than one million people, mostly Jews, were killed.
"Selling 'Christmas ornaments' with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate," the Auschwitz Memorial account tweeting, asking Amazon to remove the items.
People were outraged that it would occur to anyone to turn images of Auschwitz into something festive.
The Auschwitz Memorial posted an update on Sunday to say that it seemed that Amazon had removed the ornaments, but that there were more disturbing products on the site: a "Massacre Auschwitcz Birkenau Jewish Death" mousepad, and another mousepad depicting a freight car used to transport the camp's prisoners.
Following a similar outcry, Amazon removed these items as well. "All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account," a spokesperson for Amazon told NBC News on Monday. Guidelines for sellers state that Amazon "does not allow products that promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views."
The Auschwitz Memorial thanked those who put pressure on the online retail giant to act, then posted another tweet indicating that the ornaments were still available on the e-commerce site Wish.com, prompting the retailer to also remove the products. "These items are completely inappropriate and should not have been listed by sellers on our platform. We are removing them as a matter of urgency," a spokesperson for Wish told Reuters.
"We consider this rather an isolated incident," Pawel Sawicki, press officer for the Auschwitz Memorial, told Reuters. "What seems to be an issue is that more and more producers use some image-grabbing software and place hundreds of images on their products hoping to find customers." And if you want to get educated about why these Auschwitz products caused such a reaction, learn more about the Holocaust amid these 30 Astonishing Facts About World War II That Will Change the Way You View It Forever.