AUSTRALIAN online retailer Redbubble has apologised after it emerged a number of products featuring images of Auschwitz were available for purchase on the site.
The Auschwitz Museum tweeted the retailer earlier this week, “Do you really think that selling such products as pillows, mini skirts or tote bags with the images of Auschwitz – a place of enormous human tragedy where over 1.1 million people were murdered – is acceptable?
“This is rather disturbing and disrespectful.”
.@redbubble Do you really think that selling such products as pillows, mini skirts or tote bags with the images of Auschwitz – a place of enormous human tragedy where over 1,1 million people were murdered – is acceptable? This is rather disturbing and disrespectful. pic.twitter.com/cdPvZGMXC6
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) May 7, 2019
Redbubble said on Twitter it takes a “strong stance against racism and violence, including the atrocities committed in Nazi concentration camps”.
“We would like to assure you that we have taken immediate action to review the site and remove these and all other related works that fall outside our guidelines.”
Redbubble CEO Barry Newstead issued a statement, apologising for the “hurt that has been caused by the images of Auschwitz and their appearance on consumer products”.
“I have visited concentration camps and felt in my bones the pain of these locations, and of the immense crimes against humanity committed there,” Newstead said.
“So like everyone else, I was appalled when I realised these images were on sale as products on our site.”
He said Redbubble has “listened, acted quickly, and are updating our policies so they go further with regards to imagery related to the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity”.
Victorian MP Tim Smith described the sale of the products as “absolutely repulsive”.
“Using pictures of a Nazi death camp normalises the indefensible. Shame on you all,” he said.
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said he was “shocked beyond words”.
“This sad episode is a terrible insult to the memory of those who died at the hands of the Nazis, and to those who survived. It once again demonstrates that the trivialisation and abuse of the unimagined horrors of the Holocaust has become far too common,” he said.
“And while we appreciate the apology by the company’s CEO, we are distressed that we have received reports of other items featuring images of the Holocaust offered for sale on the site. We call on the company to institute better and more effective measures to prevent a recurrence of this situation.”