On Monday, Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed his outrage to the virtual mall VOVA, using Wiesenthal’s offices in London, Hong Kong, and Paris, for the online shopping mall’s offering of sale of what VOVA trades as “Casual Adolf Hitler Funny Graphic Hoodies New Fashion for Men.”
Samuels reminded the online shopping service that “Hitler was responsible for over 50 million dead in World War II – among them 6 million Jews and unknown numbers of Roma Gypsies, Gays, Slavs and the handicapped,” and noted that the founder of the center, the late Simon Wiesenthal, “calculated the non-military victims in mass grave shootings, and Nazi concentration and death camps, at ‘6,000,000 Jews and 5,000,000 Gentiles.'”
“VOVA prides itself that it is ‘on a mission to provide high-quality products from the most trusted companies worldwide,’” Samuels wrote, suggesting “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.’”
“The banalization of this archetype of hate and discrimination is scathing,” he wrote and called on VOVA to “Immediately destroy all supplies of the Hitler hoodie, investigate and cut all contacts with the delinquent company. An apology is due to the Jewish community, lest the ‘Hitler hoodie’ becomes a symbol for neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate.”
We entered the product’s link that was provided by Wiesenthal’s irate director for international relations only to discover that the company has removed any and all reference to the offending hoodie, with the comment: “Sorry, this item is out of stock.”
We plugged the name “Hitler” in Google and received a similar empty page, with the comment: “Sorry, your search returned no result.”
So we did a deep site search for the former Kanzler and discovered a different line of products, “Classic Adolf Hitler Smiley Printed Short Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt Plus Size Cool Tops Soft Tee.” Here’s one option, it comes in several additional colors, which will probably make Dr. Samuels even angrier, what with the turning of the Butcher of Berlin into a cute emoji. Talk about the banalization of horror.
And if Dr. Samuels is done pouring his ire on VOVA for running two, not one Hitler lines, we did a general search for these things and came up with “Hitler Bunny Pullover Sweatshirt” on the Redbubble shopping site:
It turns out Redbubble offers 114 different Adolf Hitler Clothing products, each and every one of them banalzing the heck out of Herr Schicklgruber. In general, the task of blocking the proliferation of products that make fun of Hitler, or worse, admire him, is probably well beyond the ability of even the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and they’re a very capable outfit.