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April 19, 2016 10:12 pm

Online Supermarket Apologizes for Using Quote by Nazi Leader Joseph Goebbels in Ad

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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A ad sponsored by Etefy features a quote by a Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels. Photo: Campaign Against Antisemitism.

An ad sponsored by Etefy featured a quote by Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels. Photo: Campaign Against Antisemitism.

An online supermarket operating in London apologized for sponsoring an advertisement that featured a quote from Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.

Etefy admitted it was “wrong” to use an offensive passage from Goebbels’ diary. The quote read: “The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them,” and the heading above the excerpt declared that “Millions of refugees have fled war and persecution last year.”  Winston Churchill’s famous statement that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” was also included and placed below a picture of a refugee, along with the hashtag #WhatWillWeDo.

A spokesperson for Etefy said that the company was trying to compare modern-day Middle Eastern refugees with Jews who escaped the Nazis. The Etefy rep said, “Families, children and women are fleeing murderous wars, dictators and persecution to come to Europe to be mostly unwelcome. And Jewish people in Europe have to be careful again, as right-wing parties have made big gains in elections, and it seems okay to be divisive again.

“As such we wanted to create a wake-up call. We combined a horrible quote with a quote of Churchill.”

The online supermarket told the Jewish Chronicle that despite “all the good intentions we had, we unfortunately offended people with this ad. It was never our intention, and as such saddens us very much. We have offered an apology to everyone and in hindsight, how the ad was created and placed was wrong.”

The ad, which elicited several complaints, was published in the UK’s Evening Standard on Friday.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism, which complained to authorities about the ad, said in a statement that “the inclusion of the quotation, without context, explanation or rebuttal, is inexcusable.” A spokesperson for the Advertising Standards Agency said the complaints will “be assessed to see if the ad has breached our Codes.”

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  • Sherlock Holmes

    The winner of the Most Offensive Advert is PETA
    Peta ran an advert which showed pigs in cages together with a picture of Jews in railway cattle trains. Comparing Jews to pigs and pig farmers to the Holocaust is the clear winner in this popular category.

  • Joshua Laskin

    The point which the ad was trying to make, is that it’s easy for us to avoid feeling empathy for people in trouble, if we assume that their trouble was somehow brought on by themselves; that they deserved it. But of course, the Syrian refugees did nothing to deserve their fate. They lived the best they could, under an oppressive regime; and then, when some Syrians rose up, in protest against the regime, their whole country fell into civil war. So, why do we lack empathy for them? Because they’re different from us. If they were the same types as us, we would help them. Most German Jews did nothing to trouble anyone else; but, because they were different than other Germans, most of their fellow Germans didn’t help them. It’s a perfectly appropriate analogy for what’s happening now, with the Syrian refugees. Oh, but wait, the ad did commit one unpardonable sin: it required us to think.

  • The English have deserved the loss of scotland, wales, cornwall and ireland

    The English have deserved the loss of scotland, wales, cornwall and ireland

  • Dani Renan

    Everything about this article is strange and disturbing.
    First is why would an online supermarket even publish any of it?

    Second they are placing Geobbel’s quote after the fact that there are millions of refugees. They appear to insinuate some connection between the two, which is born out by the spokesmen, that said that there was without explaining what it was.

    Third the ignorance is quite unbelievable. There are millions of refugees today. How many Jews does he think escaped the Nazis? Of course they don’t want to mention that there weren’t that many since they had no place to go. No one would except them. Palestine, the only place that wanted them, was unavailable since the Brits would not allow them to come.

    Fourth, they quote Churchill, except that it wasn’t Churchill that said it is a misquote of the American Philosopher, George Santana. They don’t even know their own history. But isn’t there someone that could Google the saying? Even Google Churchill to see that he didn’t even repeat it.

    Finally there is some warning about the right wing parties gaining in Europe. And the connection of these parties to any of this is far-fetched. Most the the antisemitism in Europe today is from the Left. It used to be only the fringe left, but it has infected the mainstream center-left. The UKIP, the Swedish Democrats, Le Pen, have not been Antisemitic, and if there is something there it is nothing compared to the Labour party. The only real right wing political antisemitism is Jobbik and most of the right in Hungary, and the Golden Dawn party in Greece. And some assorted nuts in Romania and the Baltics.

    • Sherlock Holmes

      A very good post, with one minor error. Churchill DID repeat George Santayana [NOT Santana]in an address to the Housae of Commons in 1948, and Churchill also in earlier speeches said words to the same effect. Have another look through Google.

  • tiki

    Here is another quote:
    “Idiots never die, they only multiply”!