Screenshot of the new items from Teespring.com..
(photo credit: SCREENSHOT FROM TEESPRING.COM.)
A Jerusalem Post
investigation surfaced even more offensive Nazi references on US-based clothing company Teespring's website Monday, after the company replaced Nazi-associated garments with anti-swastika designs hours earlier.
Further inspection of the site's offerings revealed a series of garments featuring Adolf Hitler.
"Hitler did nothing wrong ever," and "We're all Hitler now," appeared on T-shirts advertised on the Teespring website. On another shirt, the words "The new Hitler. Deal with it." are emblazoned over a portrait of US President Donald Trump.
The original garments that sparked controversy in the first place, created by KA Designs and sold on the site, displayed large the swastikas in rainbow colors with the words “Peace,” “Zen” and “Love.”
“Here at KA we explore boundaries. We push them forward,” was how the company had initially described the products. “Let's make the Swastika a symbol of Love and Peace. Together, we can succeed.”
In an attempt to diffuse the kerfuffle, Teespring added to the site early on Monday garments similar to the KA Designs tees, but each of the swastikas on them is crossed out in red. They do not include a description.
Before Adolf Hitler’s regime employed swastikas in Nazi Germany, they were commonly known as ancient signs used by Hindus and Buddhists. They carried positive associations, such as auspiciousness and good fortune. KA Designs is attempting to relate the now negative sign to its origins.
The company had even produced a promotional video claiming that the Nazis “took the swastika, rotated it 45 degrees, and turned it into a symbol of hatred, fear, war, racism, power.”
“They stigmatized the swastika, they won, they limited our freedom, or maybe not?” the video said. “The swastika is coming back.”
But on some of the tee shirts sold by KA Designs, the swastika remained turned by 45 degrees, similarly to the Nazis’ use of the symbol.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center harshly criticized the highly offensive misuse of Nazi symbols and Holocaust-related themes by the American clothing company Teespring.
"Teespring's outrageous campaign began yesterday with a naïve in the best case, and insidious in the worst case, attempt to turn the swastika, which has become the identifiable symbol of the Nazi Party and the genocidal regime of the Third Reich, into a supposed symbol of peace, an idea which has no validity or reasonable possibility of success," said the group's Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff said in a statement. "It continued today with new offerings which bore captions such as 'Hitler Did NOTHING Wrong Ever,' and 'We're All Hitler Now,' and 'The New Hitler.Deal With It,' on the background of a photo of U.S. President Donald Trump.
"Teespring's lack of sensitivity on these issues is repulsive and the company's obvious goal is to shock people and reap the possible financial rewards, under the guise of their supposed creativity. In our opinion, such creativity deserves censure and boycott rather than any type of success and admiration."
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Executive Director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress and pro-Israel activist Arsen Ostrovsky called the shirts “obscene and disgusting” and said Teespring is trying “to profit of this in the name of art, trying to turn this irredeemable Nazi symbol of hate and murder, into a symbol of ‘love and peace.’”
“This is not only highly naive, but grossly offensive,” he also told The Jerusalem Post. "What next, using the ISIS symbol to promote gender equality?”
Following the product swap on the site, Ostrovsky said “although it is welcome the original obscene swastika designs were withdrawn, the fact the company is still seeking to profiteer from this, albeit amended design is still unacceptable.”
“Nazi symbols, in which ever way, shape or form, should not be used for commerce,” he added.
Teespring responded Monday with the following statement: "This morning it came to our attention that a user created a number of designs on Teespring that included a swastika, a hate symbol that we do not allow on Teespring. As soon as the design was discovered it was removed from the site."
Teespring does not support or allow hate speech on our platform