The tapestry (left) and gay concentration camp prisoners
American chain store Urban Outfitters is once again in hot water, this time for selling a tapestry that looks disturbingly similar to uniforms that the Nazis forced gay men to wear in concentration camps.
The tapestry, which is being sold online and in stores, is made of white and grey striped fabric with a pink inverted triangle.
On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the company to remove the tapestry from its shops and website.
“Whether intentional or not, this grey and white stripped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also condemned the tapestry, saying that it was “an unmistakable echo of uniforms Nazis issued to suspected gay male concentration camp prisoners.”
This is not Urban Outfitters’ first foray into the realm of the tasteless. In 2012, it marketed a t-shirt featuring a yellow star that echoed the identifying Star of David patch Jewish people were forced to wear under the Nazi regime. That same year, the Navajo Nation sued the retailer over its use of the “Navajo” name in a line of clothing and accessories, including items the tribe found distasteful and racially demeaning.
“Urban Outfitters has seized yet again on imagery of the Holocaust, one of the most abhorrent chapters in world history, in an appalling effort to attract attention,” said Fred Sainz, Vice President for Communications for HRC. “This is an affront to LGBT people, holocaust survivors, their families, and anyone with an ounce of humanity.”
It’s believed that more than 54,000 homosexuals were arrested and as many as 10,000 died as a result of murder, ill treatment or starvation in the Nazi concentration camps between 1933 and 1945. The pink triangle has since been used as a symbol for gay and lesbian equality.