Major Australian costume company Smiffys has received heavy criticism recently for its controversial WWII line of children's costumes, one of which bears a striking resemblance to the clothing worn by the famed Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
While the official Smiffys site markets the costume as "WWII evacuee girl," at least one major site which sold the costume overseas had marketed it as an "Anne Frank costume," quickly taking the costume down after receiving complaints.
Last month, the costume was pulled from US stores after it received heavy backlash over the its resemblance to the teenage Holocaust victim, who was killed by the Nazis in the Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945, along with her sister.
The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia's leading civil rights organization, has called on Australian stores to remove the evacuee girl and evacuee boy costumes from their shelves.
In a statement on Saturday, ADC Chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich said the costume was a "new low" for "poor taste, insensitivity and trivialisation of the Holocaust."
"This costume that seeks to make a profit out of suffering and tragedy crosses the line, big time.," Abramovich said. "Cheap exploitation is not the way to honor the memory of the millions of children who were not evacuated in time, and who suffered terrible deaths."
Reviews of the "WWII evacuee girl" costume on Amazon seem to be a very mixed bag, with some outraged over the imagery, some outraged at the "itchy" fabric, and some, (perhaps worryingly) delighted by the costume's resemblance to Frank, landing it an overall 4.3 rating on the retail site.
"It's mind-boggling to think that anyone would think it's appropriate to suggest that parents dress up their children for school or a party in this costume. What's next, party costumes with a Yellow Star?" Abramovich asked
"Did they at any point consider the pain and anguish this item would cause to those survivors who lost children in the 'Final Solution.'? Did they pause to think about how deeply inappropriate and bizarre it would be for children to show up at a party dressed in this way?"
At press time, the entire WW2 line was still available for purchase on Smiffys' official site, as well as several other major international retail companies.