German Jewish group protests sale of pro-smoking T-shirt bearing Star of David

A T-shirt using a yellow Star of David to liken the treatment of smokers in Germany to that of Jews during Nazi rule has angered German Jews. A month before several German states introduced sweeping bans on smoking in restaurants and bars on Jan. 1, an events planner, DMP, started offering the T-shirt for sale on its Web site. Jewish groups responded with outrage. "This is an absolute abuse of the Jewish genocide," the deputy president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, said Thursday. "It is a scandal to exploit the murder of the Jews in order to symbolize the people's desire to smoke." The shirt features a yellow Star of David similar to the one Jews were forced to wear under the Nazis. The world "smoker" is written across the star instead of "Jew." Graumann said the sale of the T-shirt did nothing to help German smokers. Instead, it reminded Germans - Jews and otherwise - of worse times. "It is unimaginative, brainless and tasteless," he said.