Nazi officer figurines were removed from Chilean newspaper El Mercurio's reader's club online shop following outrage by Jewish community leaders and foreign diplomats on Tuesday.
Various figurines of Nazi officers were sold on the news outlet's online storefront, according to the Comunidad Judía de Chile. This included an SS Untersturmführer. La Voz De Los Que Sobran reported that a Wermacht infantry officer and a German tank officer were also available for almost 2 US dollars each as part of a World War II collection set.
HORRIFYING - one of Chile's largest newspapers is selling Nazi SS German soldiers to their most loyal readers.El Mercurio states the price of $2,690 for members of the 'Club de Lectores' and $2,990 for the general public.More: https://t.co/LcUzvjMyjR pic.twitter.com/QO60qrHKnq— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) July 20, 2022
Responses to Nazi figurines
"We sadly learned of the El Merucio Club campaign promoting the figure of a Nazi SS soldier," said the Israeli embassy in Chile on Wednesday. "It is surprising that a prestigious media outlet defends a regime that caused the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our times."
"We regret that in the 21st century, figures representing SS soldiers are marketed as collector's items and/or exhibits, who, being the spearhead of the Nazi regime, carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity," the German embassy to Chile said in a Tuesday statement. "We cannot remain indifferent to the trivialization of the Nazi dictatorship, its accomplices and its symbols. We invite you to approach this complex historical period from a perspective linked to democratic values, human rights and the testimonial legacy of the victims, in order to promote a true process of reflection that allows us to avoid the mistakes of the past."
Comunidad Judía de Chile described the sale of the figurines as an "unacceptable expression of antisemitism and trivialization of the Holocaust!"
"We regret that in the 21st century, figures representing SS soldiers are marketed as collector's items."The German Embassy to Chile
Not the first time promoting Nazi content
According to Gerardo Gorodischer, president of Comunidad Judía de Chile, this is not the first time El Mercurio has promoted Nazi content. He told Interferencia that the outlet had previously sold Nazi figurines in 2019.
“If these things happen three times, it is not by chance,” Gorodischer told Interferencia. He also recalled that in 2021, El Mercurio had published a profile lauding Nazi leader Hermann Göring.
The eulogy was published on the 75th anniversary of Göring's death.
At the time, Comunidad Judía de Chile called the article “an apology for Nazism.”
“We just want to make it very clear: This character, H. Göring committed crimes against humanity and was one of the pillars of the Nazi regime,” said the German embassy.
The conservative-leaning El Mercurio is considered a Chilean newspaper of record.JTA contributed to this report.