Amazon on Sunday removed multiple products, including Christmas ornaments, featuring images of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Listed by third-party sellers, the products included a number of Christmas tree ornaments, a mouse pad, and a bottle opener, all bearing images of the Nazi concentration camp where historians estimate around 1 million Jewish people were killed during World War II.
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. https://t.co/0uG2JG558e pic.twitter.com/ucZoTWPk1W— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019
The products had first been noticed on Sunday by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which called the products "disturbing and disrespectful." The Museum later shared that two other sellers had listed similar products.
The products bore various images from the camp, including a freight car on the tracks to Auschwitz and scenes within the camps.
Sadly, it is not over yet @amazon. The "Massacre Auschwitcz (!) Birkenau Jewish Death" mousepad is another disturbing online product. We are not sure if @yadvashem would like the "Christmas ornament" with a freight car used for deporting Jews for extermination either. https://t.co/qDEEzqzwSU pic.twitter.com/wXExhFZPmV— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019
By Sunday afternoon, after the post was shared thousands of times and backlash was sparked, Amazon appeared to have removed the items, something that was later confirmed by an Amazon spokesperson in a statement to CNN Business.
"All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account," the spokesperson confirmed the products' removal. "The products in question have been removed."
According to Amazon's policy on offensive products, "products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views," as well as products "related to human tragedies," are prohibited. Amazon decides which products are appropriate by considering a "global community of customers and cultural differences and sensitivities."
At this time, it is unclear how long the products had been up before their removal. It is also unclear if the third-party sellers will face any punishment. As of this posting, their accounts are still active.
"Christmas ornaments" with images from Auschwitz are also available on @WishShopping. We hope that their reaction will be similar to #Amazon and such project will be quickly removed too. https://t.co/a8dynuU6ji pic.twitter.com/mcWCbA5B4g— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 2, 2019
Unfortunately, Amazon is not the only website to host such products. On Monday morning, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum shared that similar ornaments were being sold on Wish. At this time, the website has not responded to the controversial products, which are still available for purchase on the website.