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Company’s ‘Hitler hoodies’ slammed by anti-Nazi Simon Wiesenthal Centre
December 30, 2020
A hoodie bearing an image of genocidal Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has been withdrawn from sale after an international outcry.
Online marketplace VOVA deleted the “Casual Adolf Hitler Funny Graphic Hoodies New Fashion for Men” from their website after complaints, although they still sell a “Classic Adolf Hitler Smiley Printed Short Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt”
Vova is one of a growing number of web portals selling masses of cheaply-produced goods online.
The hoodie reproduced a Nazi-era painting of the Austrian-born mass murderer, wearing his signature mud-brown uniform.
The print was strategically placed to complete the image when the wearer put their hands in the hoodie’s pockets.
Dr Shimon Samuels, director for international relations at the anti-Nazi Simon Wiesenthal Centre for International Relations, wrote to Vova's headquarters in London as well as its offices in Hong Kong and Paris, urging them to stop selling the item.
In a statement, he wrote: ”VOVA prides itself that it is ‘on mission to provide high quality products from the most trusted companies worldwide,’”
"VOVA has betrayed that mission on both levels as describing ‘Adolf Hitler’ as ‘casual’ or ‘funny’ and fails in receiving it from a ‘most trusted company.’
He added: ”The banalisation of this archetype of hate and discrimination is scathing!,” saying the company should "destroy all supplies of the Hitler hoodie, investigate and cut all contacts with the delinquent company” that produced the garment.
He concluded: ”An apology is due to the Jewish community, lest the 'Hitler hoodie' becomes a symbol for neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate.”
A Spanish market stall selling similar Hitler-themed t-shirts was at the centre of a major furore in 2018. On that occasion the owners claimed the shirts had been ordered by a German tourist who asked for Hitler's image to be printed them but never returned to collect.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, established in 1977, is named after Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who was instrumental in bringing several war crimes to justice – including Adolf Eichmann, Franz Stangl and "the Mare of Majdanek", Hermine Braunsteiner.