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