June 6, 2011
Company withdraws ‘Hipster Hitler’ T-shirt line
An Australia-based online vendor has withdrawn T-shirts that satirized Hitler and the Holocaust following complaints by the Jewish community.
Red Bubble, a Melbourne-based company that markets the works of more than 150,000 artists worldwide, this week stopped selling the “Hipster Hitler” line of T-shirts that parody the Holocaust with slogans such as “Eastside Westside Genocide,” “Back to the Fuhrer” and “Three Reichs And You’re Out.”
In a statement Monday, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission praised the decision by Red Bubble.
“It’s not a matter of free speech or censorship,” said commission chairman Anton Block. “It’s a matter of sensitivity and decency.
“As a Jewish organization we have a particular sensitivity to anti-Semitism, and this led us to get in touch with Red Bubble after a number of complaints about Hipster Hitler.”
The commission said it had agreed with Red Bubble on guidelines to ensure “survivors of violence and trauma” were respected.
“We do have a high commitment to freedom of expression,” Red Bubble’s chief executive officer Martin Hosking was quoted as saying in The Sunday Age newspaper. “I do, however, have to listen to people who have such an intense experience with the Holocaust.”
Hipster Hitler, a New York-based art and clothing firm, still has the offending T-shirts for sale on its own website.