Amazon forced to remove Auschwitz-themed Christmas gifts after Poland museum, customers slam them for being 'disturbing and 'disrespectful'
E-commerce giant listed objects like bottle openers and bell-shaped Christmas tree baubles with images of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It removed them following a sharp reaction from the museum and general buyers.
E-commerce giant Amazon came under heavy criticism from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland for selling Auschwitz-themed Christmas decorations and bottle openers. On Sunday, December 1, Amazon removed the items featuring images of the former Auschwitz camp but the memorial museum was still not satisfied saying not all the “disturbing” products had been removed. It said things like mousepads featuring a picture of the “freight car used for deporting Jews for extermination” were still listed for sale. Later, however, it said that Amazon had removed all the controversial items.
Earlier in the day, the museum had said that Amazon pages were listing objects like Christmas ornaments and bottle openers with decorative images, including a picture of the entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. There, over a million Jewish men, women and children died after being deported by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany in the early and mid-1940s. The museum, which preserves the site of the camp, said the products were “disrespectful”.
The decorative items include star and bell-shaped Christmas tree baubles displaying pictures of the camp.
Selling "Christmas ornaments" with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers. https://t.co/0uG2JG558e pic.twitter.com/ucZoTWPk1W— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019
Sadly, it is not over yet @amazon. The "Massacre Auschwitcz (!) Birkenau Jewish Death" mousepad is another disturbing online product. We are not sure if @yadvashem would like the "Christmas ornament" with a freight car used for deporting Jews for extermination either. https://t.co/qDEEzqzwSU pic.twitter.com/wXExhFZPmV— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019
"Selling "Christmas ornaments" with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate", Auschwitz Memorial museum’s Twitter account posted.. "Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask Amazon to remove the items of those suppliers."
Amazon faces a backlash from customers too
Amazon’s idea also did not go down well with consumers who expressed shock as well.
While one asked: “ Is there no bottom to the pit into which people will sink???”, another said: “People will try to sell anything for money. This is despicable.” In a review on the e-commerce giant’s site, one shopper wrote: 'This is not Krakow... This is a picture of Auschwitz-Oswiecim death camp. This is a Christmas ornament? How dare you!!!!!!!!'
The ornaments, which were on sale for around $13, were later confirmed to have been removed by Amazon following the massive backlash.