Amazon Removes Auschwitz Memorabilia After Complaints

Amazon removed Auschwitz memorabilia that was on sale as Christmas gifts from its website after the Auschwitz Memorial Museum posted a complaint on Twitter.

“Selling ‘Christmas ornaments’ with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers,” the museum wrote on Dec. 1.

The Twitter post showed various items on sale, like a bottle opener and several porcelain Christmas tree decorations. They were all emblazoned with pictures of the infamous Nazi extermination camp in Poland, where some 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, were killed during World War II.

The museum added, “We are not sure if it would like the ‘Christmas ornament’ with a freight car used for deporting Jews for extermination either,” referring to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

Later that day, Amazon removed the items, issuing the following statement to NBC: “All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account.”

NTD Photo
The entrance gates to Auschwitz I with the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes One Free) overhead, on Dec. 8, 2004. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The museum responded with another message, thanking Amazon for its swift acting upon the matter: “It seems that @amazon has removed all of the ‘Christmas ornaments’ with the images of the former Auschwitz camp. Thank you, everyone, for your activity and response.”

Principal in Florida Reassigned After He Declined to Say the Holocaust Is a Fact

William Latson, principal at Spanish River High School, got an email from a mother of a student inquiring about how his school taught about the Holocaust.

He told her in an email that the school taught it in different ways but added that the lessons were “not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.”

The mother, who declined to be named, responded by asking him to make clearer what he was saying.

“The Holocaust is a factual, historical event,” she wrote. “It is not a right or a belief.”

Instead of agreeing, Latson said he could not say that.

“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” he wrote. “And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school, and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

Latson said his role as an educator was “to be politically neutral but support all groups in the school.”

“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee,” Latson wrote.

The emails were published on July 5 by the Palm Beach Post after being obtained through a public records request.

The mother then started pushing for changes at the school, including requiring some Holocaust education such as reading “Night,” a memoir by Elie Weisel.

The effort culminated in the removal of Latson as principal on July 8.

Latson will be reassigned to a district position, the Palm Beach County School District said, reported the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.