An online Australian company came under fire for selling Adolf Hitler "inspired" merchandise for Valentine's Day, which has now been taken down.
The site, Spicy Baboon, was selling mugs, t-shirts, stickers, cards and beer cozies with a cartoon depiction of Hitler holding a rose in his mouth and surrounded by hearts. Underneath the graphic was the caption "Be Mein."
In the product description, the site had written: "Nothing says 'I love you' more than Time Magazine's Man of the Year (1938) clasping a rose."
The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia's leading civil rights organization, has expressed its disgust towards the Hitler merchandise.
The site's owner Scot Mackenroth apologized and said that they didn't mean any harm by it or to offend anyone but claimed it was for humor purposes.
The ADC Chairman, Dr. Dvir Abramovich rejected the apology and urged them to meet Holocaust survivors so that they can understand the pain and suffering Hitler had inflicted on them.
"This is a new and perverse low in Australian retail," Dr. Abramovich said in a statement regarding the sale. "The words sickening, vomit-inducing and stomach-churning do not even come close to describing this abomination and it's hard to imagine anything more obscene that abuses Holocaust and takes its vulgar exploitation to new depths."
"For the owners to describe their motivations for offering these ghastly items as 'cheeky fun' and a 'joke' reveals their total lack of empathy for the victims of Hitler's barbaric crimes, understanding of the harm they have caused and an absence of personal accountability for their reprehensible conduct."Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC)
"This is Holocaust denial for the 21st century," he added. "There is nothing funny, cool, or fashionable about Hitler and these products clearly demonstrate that nothing is off-limits and that all bets are off when it comes to the debasement of the Holocaust. Shame on this company for crossing all lines of moral decency.
"To use a monster such as Hitler, responsible for the extermination of six million Jews, including the murder of 1.5 million children, the gas chambers of Auschwitz, the execution of families in open fields and the crushing of babies' skulls, to express love and associate him with Valentine's Day is a profound insult to the memory of the victims.
"This cheap trick to generate sales plunges a knife into the heart of survivors living here and is a spit on the graves of the courageous diggers who sacrificed their lives to defeat the Third Reich...As we witness a dramatic rise in antisemitism and neo-Nazism in Australia, it is revolting that here is a business providing another avenue for Hitler's image and name to be normalized and mainstreamed and reach a new generation of young people who may think it's fun to wear or use these articles."
"Although I welcome the removal of the items, which I note, took place only because the business was called out by the ADC, I do not accept their non-apology," he continued.
"For the owners to describe their motivations for offering these ghastly items as 'cheeky fun' and a 'joke' reveals their total lack of empathy for the victims of Hitler's barbaric crimes, understanding of the harm they have caused and an absence of personal accountability for their reprehensible conduct. They will need to do a lot more to undo this damage in order to earn my faith that they are sincerely remorseful."
Australia's past in selling Nazi memorabilia
Australia is no stranger to selling Hitler or Nazi memorabilia. In early November 2022, an Australian antique auction company "JB Military Antiques" was auctioning memorabilia that belonged to Nazi Germany's army in World War II.
They were going to auction off over 600 Nazi memorabilia items which included firearms, uniforms and even a Luftwaffe helmet.
In January 2022, another Australian auction house was selling a signed Hitler photo as well as numerous rare militia items such as an SS cross, an SS dagger, childhood letters from Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler and a Nazi propaganda children's book.
The auction house wrote in one of the item descriptions, "The book teaches children, according to the Nazi Party in Germany, what a Jew is and what they look like. This children's book was authored by Elvira Bauer, a kindergarten teacher and Nazi supporter in 1936, and illustrated by Phillipp Rupprecht, a publisher of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer... children's books like Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jud auf seinem Eid were used to educating the youth of Nazi Germany in being a citizen of the Third Reich."
The Jerusalem Post Staff and Ben Zion Gad contributed to the article.