Spanish fashion retailer Inditex said Wednesday it has withdrawn a children's shirt that triggered an outcry from people who said it was reminiscent of the clothes Jews were made to wear at Nazi concentration camps.
The long-sleeved shirt with horizontal dark stripes and a six-pointed yellow star on the left side of the chest prompted a storm on social media, with many people finding the shirt distasteful because it conjured up memories of the Holocaust.
"It was only on sale for a few hours, only online, it didn't hit the stores" said a spokeswoman with Inditex, which owns the chain Zara where the shirt was sold. "It was withdrawn this morning."
Inditex said the shirt was designed to be part of a Wild West clothing theme and the star was intended as a sheriff's badge and had "nothing to do with the second world war."
"But obviously we're aware of the sensitiveness of the issue and that's why we have withdrawn it," said the spokeswoman. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with company policy.
The company said it removed the item from sale after several hours due to the protests and apologized to customers.
The item was posted on sale online overnight in three European countries but could be viewed as a catalogue item in many others. Zara has more than a dozen Canadian stores. The spokeswoman could not comment on how many shirts were sold, or if customers who ordered the shirt would receive it.
Web magazine +972, whose reporting focuses on Israel and Palestine says they reached out to Inditex and Zara Israel after seeing the shirt. +972 says they received a statement from Zara Israel that included an explanation of the Western inspiration for the shirts and a promise to "exterminate" them.
Jews and others detained in the WWII camps by the Nazis were made to wear pajama-type clothing with dark vertical stripes. During the war the Nazis also made some Jews wear yellow stars on their chest as part of a discrimination policy.