Amazon takes action over Holocaust-themed Christmas decorations

Amazon has removed Holocaust-themed Christmas decorations from sale after the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum shared pictures of the items on social media.

Christmas tree ornaments and a bottle opener with pictures of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million people were murdered were listed on its online marketplace.

The product description of the items listed them as "the ideal city souvenir" and suggested buyers could "give it to a friend on different occasions as a gift".

Although Amazon swiftly deleted those listings, the museum later discovered similar items - including a mousepad described as the "massacre Auschwitcz Birkenau Jewish death".

Of the original items found by the memorial, the organisation wrote: "Selling 'Christmas ornaments' with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers."

The post, which included a link to the site and screengrabs of the items, has been liked more than 26,000 times and has been shared more than 8,000 times.

An Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement that the products had been removed and that "all sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account".

Speaking to the New York Times, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said: "It is hard to fathom why anyone would want to hang a Christmas ornament adorned with images of a concentration camp.

"These ornaments are deeply offensive by any measure. We’re relieved that Amazon has removed these items from sale."

Earlier this year, the Auschwitz Memorial criticised online retailer Redbubble for selling pillows, T-shirts and miniskirts depicting the former Nazi concentration camp.

As screenshots of the controversial items circulated online back in May, the Auschwitz Memorial had tweeted Redbubble and asked: "Do you really think that selling such products as pillows, miniskirts or tote bags with the images of Auschwitz - a place of enormous human tragedy where over 1.1 million people were murdered - is acceptable?

"This is rather disturbing and disrespectful."

Redbubble removed the items from sale shortly afterwards.

The memorial and museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau is based in Oswiecim, Poland. It works to preserve the site of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.