Walmart throw pillow features Hitler and swastika


And at the height of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” mania, I recollect there were the auto-generated versions that went through a dictionary to create hundreds of variations, which went mostly ignored until it got to variations of “Keep Calm and Rape.”

Apparently there were also problematic algorithmically generated “Kiss me I’m…” (e.g. “abusive”) and “I love… girls” (e.g. “motionless,” “boiling”) t-shirts:


yeah, I was real upset about getting those plastic containers with the pot in it. how dare they. I sent those containers right back. I was so mad.


Oh no, the international tchotchke pipeline burped up a curiosity because someone didn’t look hard enough at a foreign picture they spent 5 seconds pulling off Google image search! I must leap directly to 10, the same level I use to warn my family and friends about global warming and the fascist takeover of Western politics.


Between the two world wars, British savings stamps carried a swastika, it was a symbol that had been used by early Christians in Northern Europe, and is still a common symbol across Asia, as it’s tied to Buddhism.
I have a kimono-style dressing gown with a blue repeating pattern that’s interlinked swastikas.
It even appears on petroglyphs in North America, as part of Native American creation storytelling.
It’s a pity that such a widely used symbol with global significance to a great many different societies has been soiled and corrupted by one vile little Austrian and his abhorrent regime.


I don’t think it’s a pity. It’s a soiled and tarnished symbol that people can quickly recognise. Because of this, it does a lot of incredibly significant work.

It reminds us every time we see it that millions of people died as a consequence of hate. It’s also a pretty quick way to see if a modern person is a dangerous bigot.

It shouldn’t be celebrated, normalized, or displayed as neutral. But I think, as a radioactive symbol, it’s doing more important work than it was doing in the past.

It’s hard to find sympathy for a graphic becoming tarnished, when the new use is that it helps people remember how millions of human died. That’s not a less significant use.

More simply, I’d rather people had more reminders of the existence of the Holocaust, then the world having more decorative options in kimono-style dressing gowns.


Like 99% of the items sold through Wal-Mart’s third-party marketplace, the design was most likely slapped together in a Chinese factory from clip-art and images found on Wikipedia. Some poor guy with a copy of Corel Draw was told he had fifteen minutes to crank out a pillowcase with stamps and watermarks on it and thought nothing of one from Germany.


I remember hearing about itinerant musicians touring through American towns and cities in the 1930s with generic songs that left a gag for pretty much any town name. They would go to a local record presser and get them to run off a few dozen recordings with the town’s name sung in the appropriate place. The musician would then sell these at shows before moving on to the next place.

“I left my heart in [WOONSOCKET]…”

“[TWO EGG], so good, they named it twice…”


My first thought, as a former philatelist, was “hey, I have that stamp.”


Wow, I was expecting this Ryan Newman guy to be barely rev at all. Imagine my shock at seeing how he’s very rev, maybe even bordering on extremely rev. Good job Ryan!


Uh… you got any more of those plastic containers?


If they red-line their Rev’s they can Cardinal up.


I’m not sure how aghast everyone is, though. It’s more of a face palm moment than a freak out. I think this is kind of emblematic of a lot of very serious problems with the corporations and their brands have evolved. Of course things like this are going to happen.

Yeah, I know we in the west think a lot about German history because it is also our history. It’s hard to find fault with the designer (assuming the scenario you describe). It’s easy to find fault with a supply chain that doesn’t even look at what it’s selling. I feel like there was a real time in history when companies thought that quality was important because it was how they retained customers (not that they didn’t try to cut corners, but they were actually trying to get away with stuff, not just throwing out there without caring).


It was simply a mismatch. The throw pillow from the series “A Nazi in Paris” accidentally ended up in the hands of someone that did not appreciate it.
I bet You that given the present political atmosphere in the US, there are a number of folks who would have appreciated a pillow like that. Oh, wait, they already got one.
On a side note, it is kind of disappointing that the throw pillow is not depicting letters from Baghdad with Bush or Cheney on the stamps. However, in the Bush case, a shoe would be more apt…


This pillow was listed by a third-party seller on our online marketplace…

Issues like this make me wonder why the Wal-Marts, Amazons, and Neweggs of the world deal in third-party sales at all. Or at least, why they don’t segregate that stuff more effectively, why they don’t make it super-clear that just because you’re buying this widget through Wal-Mart’s website doesn’t mean anyone who works for Wal-Mart has ever seen it.


Unless the repeating pattern looks something like this:


…in other words, the interlocked swastikas are connected by border lines and thus not do not stand on their own…

I would suggest that it’s time to burn the dressing gown rather than run the risk that anyone might see you in it. Unless that’s why you’ve kept the dressing gown.


“So wait, why I am buying it from you?”

“Because we want a cut.”


Something tells me this is a design you can find on bolts of fabric for anyone making kitschy home goods. Designed in Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia etc, they grabbed a bunch of imagery from “Europe” and called it a day. Hell places like Hobby Lobby and Jo Ann’s fabrics might want go through their selection and make sure it wasn’t exported as a design for people who make their own throw pillows.


It is a pity for the cultures who had to abandon a symbol that had cultural meaning for centuries if not millennia.

And yes, that is the left facing one in this example, but the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, and other tribes used both versions in their art and ceremonies before renouncing its use after war was declared. But as you said, it’s tainted now.


Who made the fabric? Who bought the fabric and made it in to pillows?


once we had a popular adage that focused on Hitler it kinda felt like we were straying a bit.