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Shorts displaying a smiling Hitler face destroyed

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BRIAN JOSS

The post from Shain started a social media storm with many people voicing their support for Battle who told SA Jewish Report she started the chain at the age of 22 “with no financial backing”.

Shain’s post read in part: “The Lot is selling jeans with a Hitler smiley juxtaposed next to the peace sign. When we asked the shop assistant if she knew what the symbol was, she giggled and said, ‘Yes, it’s Hitler’. By having something like this The Lot is in agreement with Hitler’s regime and supports the deaths of millions of innocent victims.

“This is as bad as having a symbol of the apartheid flag and a figure of Cecil John Rhodes. The shorts make a joke of the Holocaust. As South Africans and global citizens we should reject any association with racism. Please share and suggest what we can do.”

Hitler shortsBattle said the stock had been ordered by her former business partner from a factory in Bangkok and as soon as she was alerted to Shain’s post, she removed the emojis.

“We ordered a selection of vintage denim shorts from a factory in Asia which outsourced it to another factory to supply them with fabric patches to meet our ‘fun brief’. The factory ran out of smiley patches for two pairs of shorts and replaced them with the emojis that resembled Hitler.

“Replacing orders with something similar is what they do when they are out of stock as they don’t want to lose the income. When the shorts arrived at The Lot it was peak season in December and the shorts were unpacked without being thoroughly checked. These shorts have numerous patches, not only the Hitler emoji.

“Immediately upon finding out (about it) via the post on December 23, I checked every single pair and found only two pairs of shorts with the emoji. We removed and cut them up, all within 24 hours. I also issued an explanation and apology to the Jewish community that was graciously accepted.

“I had no idea the supplier in Asia had provided the two patches which were sewn onto shorts with numerous other patches. The Lot does not produce either these garments or the patches,” said Battle who has been added to the Facebook page by a Jewish friend who is a customer of The Lot.

The people who came to Battle’s defence included SA Jewish Board of Deputies Cape Chairman Eric Marx; Romy Chasan Pfaff and Kate Thompson-Duwe.

Cape Town attorney, Malcolm Roup, said: “People say what they like on social media. However, in this case Shain should have tried to speak to Battle before running to Facebook. She (Battle) did the right thing by removing the offending emoji and apologising.”

Joshua Hovsha, SAJBD director (Cape), confirmed they had received complaints about the shorts and after they contacted The Lot it apologised and removed the offending objects.

“It is not against South African law to sell Nazi memorabilia and the Board has no problem with shops specialising in historical or military objects that sell Nazi memorabilia, but we are concerned when Nazi symbols are used in other areas. Doing so trivialises the evil legacy of the Hitler years and brings back memories to survivors and their families,” he said.

“It is only when customers bring their concerns to the (attention of the) management of a store that they will treat such offensive items with more sensitivity. Inform the Board of such items and we will indicate our concerns,” Hovsha said.

“In a South Africa that is reeling from an outbreak of racism and intolerance, the latest examples being attacks on mosques, it is inappropriate to sell items glorifying a man who typifies racism at its extreme.

“We have much work to create a society based on tolerance, fairness and equality,” he said.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. nat cheiman

    Jan 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    ‘No harm done as I’m sure The Lot meant no offence’

  2. Gary Selikow

    Jan 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    ‘Now let’s destroy the keffiyahs and ‘Free Palestine’and ‘Boycott Apartheid Israel’ t shirts who’se message is really ‘Kill the Jews!”

  3. John Doe

    Feb 21, 2017 at 6:37 am

    ‘Hi. I recently sat down for a lunch at a restaurant called the red baron . In Kya sand rand burg . As the name of the restaurant suggests it is full of memorabilia concerning the red baron fighter pilot and the war planes used . I also noted badges of the third Reich including swastikas ect on display. I am not Jewish but understand the holocaust and the crimes and evil acts committed and feel there is no room for the promotion or display of anything nazi related more so this should not be done proudly. I have not contacted or voiced my opinion to the owners or management but I do feel this is the correct platform for someone with the correct background in law or religion to take this further. 

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