Tea cups printed with the image of Adolf Hitler’s face have been traced back to a manufacturer in China after they were ‘mistakenly’ distributed at stores in Germany that are now asking customers to please return them, destroy them and never, ever speak of them again.
Want China Times relays:
The 5,000 tea cups, which feature a faded stamp of Hitler’s side profile together with pink roses and calligraphy, had been on sale at the German housewares and furniture chain Zurbruggen for €1.99 (US$2.75).
“Our workers are dismayed and embarrassed, the producer has apologized for the error, and we have apologized to our customers for this terrible mistake that resulted from a chain of unfortunate circumstances,” the store owner said in a statement, adding that all customers who return the cups will receive a €20 (US$27.75) gift voucher as compensation.
The remaining stock of the tea cups has been destroyed, although only 16 of the 175 sold have been returned. The retailer is now trying to get in touch with the Chinese manufacturer to ask why, while staff should probably be questioning their own observational abilities after apparently failing to notice the imagery when the cups were unboxed last month.
Since the end of the Third Reich, it’s been illegal in Germany to display images of Hitler in a glorifying manner or to embrace other symbols of the Nazi era, with certain exceptions given to artists, educators and filmmakers. The maximum penalty one can face in some cases is three years in prison.
According to the BBC, a contemporary history museum in Bonn, the House of History, expressed “great interest” in obtaining one of the cups.