Adolf Hitler’s face was found plastered on tea cups sold by a family-owned German owned furniture and houseware chain. Naturally, the tea cups caused an uproar in Germany. The manufacturer of the tea cups was traced back to China, reports Hong Kong newspaper, Ta Kung Pao.
In China, products with Hitler’s image are often sold as gag-gifts to foreigners or sold to unwitting Chinese buyers; however, the image is far less common abroad. In fact, displaying Hitler’s image is banned in Germany. Depicting Hitler can lead to severe consequences, such as a maximum penalty of a three year jail term.
The manufacturer made 5,000 of the vintage style teacups. During the three days it took staff to notice the offensive image, 175 tea cups were sold. The remaining cups were destroyed by the company, who were shocked by the discovery of the image.
Nothing like this has ever happened in 75 years that my family has been in the business,” said Christian Zurbrüggen, director of the chain, which bears his family’s name. One buyer told local paper Neue Westfälische Post that she “could not believe her eyes” when she noticed Hitler sitting on her breakfast table.
Customers have been offered a 20 Euro gift voucher if they return the mug to the store. However, only 16 have been returned. This may be due to the fact that his profile is well hidden behind roses and a beautiful English poem.
It’s unclear whether the cups were manufactured out of ignorance or if the cup’s design was simply an extremely distasteful joke. Either way, it doesn’t look good for the now red-faced German store owner.
The German government takes the depiction of Hitler extremely seriously. On Friday, prosecutors in Dortmund opened an investigation over the display of the Nazi fuhrer on the teacups.