Hitler t-shirts outrage anti-fascist groups

By Sandy Rashty, August 22, 2012

A family-owned company in Birmingham has apologised and stopped selling t-shirts showing Hitler as a rock star on tour after complaints by local councillors.

Elaine Williams, Labour councillor for Harborne, complained both to the shop and Birmingham City Council. She said: “The t-shirts are in very bad taste.

“There is nothing funny or humorous about Hitler, the Holocaust or the events surrounding mass murder.”

Ruth Smeeth, deputy director of the anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate, said: “This is a crass attempt at humour from an obviously ignorant retailer.

“It fails to recognise the incredible sacrifices made by the incredible servicemen and women from across the world to fight fascism and victims of the Holocaust. This is neither acceptable nor amusing.”

An employee of T W Ryder Army and Navy Stores in Harborne, Birmingham, confirmed: “The t-shirts are not available any more. They’re no longer on sale because of the press.”

The store's owner, Craig Owen, later apologised for any offence caused.

Rob Johnston, regional secretary for the Midlands TUC, said: “These t-shirts are insensitive, tasteless and inappropriate. I am sure that no right-thinking person in Birmingham – or anywhere for that matter – would want to purchase or wear such an item.”

Ruth Jacobs, chair of the Birmingham Representative Council, said: “I think there are worse things imprinted on t-shirts to get heated up about – this seems as though it was someone’s rather tasteless idea of a joke.”

Last updated: 4:27pm, August 22 2012