Amazon removes Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments after facing backlash

By Li Cohen

/ CBS News

Amazon on Sunday removed several products that featured images of a concentration camp from its online store. The Auschwitz Museum and Memorial called out the online retailer on Twitter for selling Christmas ornaments and a bottle opener with pictures of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a complex of concentration and extermination camps located in Poland operated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Snowflake and bell-shaped ornaments were printed with images of the camp. The image was also seen on a bottle opener refrigerator magnet. The items were sold by user Fcheng, who sells a variety of Christmas ornaments featuring images of places from around the world.

The Auschwitz Memorial and Museum tweeted about the items Sunday morning, calling them "disturbing and disrespectful."

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.

— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019

The specific items shown in the original tweet were eventually removed, but the museum shared images of other products from a different seller that still remain on the retail site, saying "sadly, it's not over." The products still for sale include a mouse pad with a photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and a Christmas ornament with a picture of a freight car that was used for transporting people to these camps.

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.

— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019

An Amazon spokesperson said in an email that "All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account. The products in question have been removed."

First published on December 1, 2019 / 8:15 PM

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