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Amazon in row over ‘disturbing’ Auschwitz Christmas ornaments

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More than a million people died at Auschwitz, which operated between 1940 and 1945

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Online retail giant sparks outrage by selling festive products depicting the Nazi death camp

One-Minute Read Gabriel Power
Monday, December 2, 2019 - 2:31pm

Amazon has removed Holocaust-themed Christmas decorations from its online marketplace following a flood of complaints on social media. 

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The row erupted on Sunday after the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum tweeted screenshots of Christmas tree ornaments and a bottle opener emblazoned with pictures of the Nazi death camp, where more than a million people were murdered during the Second World War.

Sky News reports that the product description of the items listed them as “the ideal city souvenir” and suggested buyers could “give it to a friend on different occasions as a gift”.

The museum, situated at the site of the former camp in southern Poland, criticised the ornaments as “disturbing and disrespectful”.

The Guardian reports that the museum later tweeted that Amazon “appeared to have removed the items – but then posted a follow-up saying it had discovered others”, including a mousepad and a ceramic Christmas ornament depicting a freight car like those used for deporting Jews and other groups deemed “undesirable” for extermination.

“We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers,” the museum added.

In response, the retailer confirmed the products had been removed from sale, prompting the museum to tweet: “Thank you everyone for your activity and response.”

Al Jazeera notes that according to Amazon’s sales policies, products “related to human tragedies” are not allowed on the site.

In a statement sent to media outlets including The Independent, a spokesperson for the company said: “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.”

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