Amazon under fire over Nazi death camp puzzle

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2012, 5:42am


Online retail giant Amazon has come under fire over the sale of a jigsaw puzzle that depicts ovens at a crematorium at the Nazi death camp of Dachau, a media report said.

"This is a real slap in the face for concentration camp survivors and relatives of victims," conservative politician Gerda Hasselfeldt wrote in a letter to Amazon, quoted by Der Spiegel on Sunday.

The 252-piece puzzle, advertised for US$24.99 (HK$30.60), was offered on Amazon's American website as suitable for children aged eight and over, but it is not available for sale on Amazon's German website.

The link to the item on the US website was also unavailable yesterday although a cached version of the page was available.

It shows a picture of two ovens at one of the two crematoriums at Dachau, where bodies of prisoners were burned. Reviews of the product ranged from "disgusting" to "extremely bad taste".

Amazon's US media office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

More than 200,000 Jews, gays, Roma, political opponents, the disabled and prisoners of war were held in Dachau during the second world war. Between 32,000 and 43,000 people died in the Bavarian camp before US troops liberated it in April 1945.

"The Dachau memorial is a place of remembrance for the suffering of countless victims. It cannot be in Amazon's interest to sell such a game," wrote Hasselfeldt, of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, sister party of Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.