Saturday 24 February 2018

Shop apologises after selling colour-by-numbers book featuring Hitler

The colour-by-numbers image of Adolf Hitler before, left, and after been coloured in. Photo: AP
The colour-by-numbers image of Adolf Hitler before, left, and after been coloured in. Photo: AP

James Rothwell

A Dutch pharmacist has apologised after it unwittingly sold copies of a colouring book featuring Adolf Hitler.

Retail chain Kruidvat said it "deeply regretted the incident" and had pulled the book from its shelves after a flurry of complaints. The colour-by-numbers book features a cartoon image of the Fuhrer scowling as he gives a Nazi salute while wearing a swastika armband.

A spokesman for the book's Belgian publisher, Trifora, pointed out that it included less controversial figures to colour in, such as Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln.

"It is a nasty combination of circumstances. We check the book on translations, but do not check all the colouring pictures," he said.

"My suspicion is that the man who created the colouring book got a book of famous people out of the closet and selected a pair, which unfortunately included Adolf Hitler. Maybe he did not recognise him."

He added that the printers in India had made a "horrible mistake" and that the company apologised "unreservedly".

Dozens of copies of the book were bought before it was taken off the shelves and the pharmacy has offered refunds to those who return it.

Disgruntled customers took to the shop's Facebook page to show their disdain.

"What a mega-crazy action from your part," wrote one man. "Well done...are you proud of this?" said another.

It is not the first time the German dictator's image has caused grave offence among parents. Last year, an Australian private school apologised after a child was allowed to dress up as Hitler for 'Book Week' and paraded in front of his Jewish classmates.

The unnamed pupil was then handed an award for being the "best dressed child" at the event.

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