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Amazon sparks outrage after selling Holocaust-themed Christmas ornaments


At least 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz

THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

Critics blasted Amazon on Sunday after the company began selling Christmas ornaments and bottle openers decorated with images of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia notes, the SS and police deported an estimated 1.3 million people to the Auschwitz camp complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, approximately 1.1 million people were murdered, including one million Jews.

Poland's Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum wrote 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 Auschwitz ornaments include an image of the train tracks leading to the entrance of the concentration camp, and an image of the barracks where prisoners were housed, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency. At least one of the Christmas tree decorations was printed on an an ornament shaped like a star of David.

Horrific site

The details of the murders that occurred at the concentration camp are horrific. As the Holocaust Museum notes:

During the Holocaust, concentration camp prisoners received tattoos only at one location, Auschwitz. Incoming prisoners were assigned a camp serial number which was sewn to their prison uniforms. Only those prisoners selected for work were issued serial numbers; those prisoners sent directly to the gas chambers were not registered and received no tattoos.

The museum states that among the victims were: Jews (1,095,000 deported to Auschwitz, 960,000 died); Non-Jewish Poles (140,000- 150,000 deported, 74,000 died); Roma (Gypsies) (23,000 deported, 21,000 died); Soviet prisoners of war (15,000 deported and died); Other nationalities (25,000 deported, 10,000- 15,000 died).

Products have been removed

According to the New York Post, a spokesperson from Amazon said that the "products in question have been removed" from its website.

"All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account," a company spokesperson said. The seller who used Amazon as a platform listed the items as "travel souvenirs," and sold them alongside similar products with images of historic sites from around the world, reported German news website DW.

Amazon stopped selling the controversial products on its website after hundreds of Twitter users blasted the online retailer.

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