Walmart, Sears and Amazon came under fire last week when it was discovered that all three retail giants were selling a photographic poster print featuring the chilling image of the gates of the Nazi death camp, Dachau’s with “Arbeit Mach Frei” (“Work Sets You Free”) spelled out in wrought iron as a decorative wall hanging.
News of the item’s sale on the Walmart website was first reported on July 2, by HeebMagazine.com, who took screenshots of the item’s description before it was eventually removed from the website.
Gate with inscription Arbeit Macht Frei, Dachau Concentration Camp, Dachau, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, German is a licensed reproduction that was printed on Premium Heavy Stock Paper which captures all of the vivid colors and details of the original. […] This print is ready for hanging or framing and would make a great addition to your home or office.
The item retailed online for $52.25.
When contacted by the reader who tipped Heeb Magazine via email, a Walmart customer service representative wrote back that they “have this product in stock because there are some customer[sic] who like to buy this type of item, but this doesn’t mean [Walmart] are supporting any ideology related to this item.”
According to ABC News, the item was sold by one of the company’s online marketplace sellers and not directly by Walmart.
An official from the big box store released the following apology.
“We were horrified to see that this item was on our site. We sincerely apologize, and worked quickly to remove it. The item was sold through a third-party seller on our marketplace. We have shared our disappointment with them and have learned they are removing the publisher of this item entirely from their inventory.”
It was later discovered that the poster was also available online through Sears and Amazon. The item was removed from both online retail websites.
An image search for “Arbeit Mach Frei Dachau” will lead to the image and the dead link.
Of the incident, Sears said this in a statement:
“The item, which was listed by an independent third-party on Sears Marketplace, violates our guidelines and was immediately removed.”
Representatives from Amazon did not reply to ABC News’ request for comment.
Dachau was the first concentration camp built by the Nazis in 1933. At the entrance of Dachau was placed a gate topped with the infamous phrase, “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Sets You Free”). It is estimated that 50,000 people met their death at within its gates.