'Hipster Hitler' T-shirt line goes offline in Australia

Australian-based online T-shirt vendor removes offensive clothing items after receiving complaints from the Jewish community.

By JTA
June 6, 2011 17:44
1 minute read.
'Hipster Hitler'

Hipster Hitler 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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SYDNEY, Australia  – An Australian-based online vendor has withdrawn T-shirts that satirized Hitler and the Holocaust following complaints by the Jewish community, it announced on Monday.

Red Bubble, a company based in Melbourne that markets the works of more than 150,000 artists worldwide, this week stopped selling the “Hipster Hitler” line of T-shirts that parody the Holocaust with slogans such as “Eastside Westside Genocide,” “Back to the Fuhrer,” and “Three Reichs And You’re Out.”

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In a statement Monday, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission praised the decision by Red Bubble. “It’s not a matter of free speech or censorship. It’s a matter of sensitivity and decency,” said commission chairman Anton Block.

“As a Jewish organization we have a particular sensitivity to anti-Semitism and this led us to get in touch with Red Bubble after a number of complaints about Hipster Hitler.”
The commission said it had agreed with Red Bubble on guidelines to ensure “survivors of violence and trauma” were respected.

“We do have a high commitment to freedom of expression,” Red Bubble’s chief executive officer Martin Hosking was quoted as saying in The Sunday Age newspaper.

“I do, however, have to listen to people who have such an intense experience with the Holocaust.”

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At press time, Hipster Hitler, a New York-based art and clothing firm, had closed its online store, although its website said it would return.

JPost.com staff contributed to this report

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