Amazon removed a range of Christmas ornaments displaying images of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz after outrage over the products erupted in Poland.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum posted screenshots of the ornaments on Twitter on Sunday, calling them “disturbing and disrespectful”.
The items included snowflakes and bell-shaped images and all displayed images of the Nazi camp where millions of people were killed during WWII.
“Selling Christmas ornaments with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful,” it said.
Within hours, the post was shared widely generating all kinds of angry responses. Some users called the ornaments “despicable” while others threatened to cancel their Amazon accounts.
In a later tweet, the memorial said the items were removed but then posted a follow-up saying: “It was not over yet.”
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
Other products were found including a computer mousepad showing a photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, and a Christmas ornament with a picture of a freight car used to transport people there.
After another wave of angry responses, the memorial confirmed those products were later removed as well.
“Thank you to those who reacted, reported and put pressure here,” it said.
Another group of products – a mousepad with images from Birkenau and Christmas ornament with a freight train car from Yad Vashem has been removed from @amazon. Thank you to those who reacted, reported and put pressure here. https://t.co/hzJtMAJqNa pic.twitter.com/ZdbEIFoGeQ
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 2, 2019
An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed that the products were not on display any more.
“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,” she said.
According to Amazon’s policy, products “related to human tragedies” are not allowed.
“We exercise judgment in allowing or prohibiting listings and we keep our global community of customers and cultural differences and sensitivities in mind when reviewing and making a decision on products.”
The Auschwitz extermination camp operated from 1940-45.
“From 1942 the vast majority of those sent to Auschwitz were Jews and they also accounted for the largest number of its victims. Other very large groups of inmates and victims included the Poles, the Roma and Soviet prisoners of war,” the memorial said on its website.