A German store’s “Hitler mugs” brought some unnecessary attention to the furniture store’s wares after the company ordered 5,000 of the mugs that contained a pale image of an Adolph Hitler stamp from the Third Reich. The cups were ordered from China, of all places, and no one noticed the German chancellor was on the cups until they sat out for sale on the shelves for about $2.70 each.
NBC News on Friday said the cups were on display at four Zurbrüggen chain furniture stores before the “bad buy” was recognized. The mugs have since been yanked off of the shelves, and the store is apologizing, calling the mugs “nasty.”
“Our staff is devastated by this very unfortunate error,” said Christian Zurbrüggen, co-owner of stores. “We have been in touch with the manufacturer… to prevent further distribution of these nasty cups.”
The store’s buying agents said they ordered the mugs at a Chinese trade show, and at first glance, the cups appear to be nothing more than Victorian looking mugs with vintage-style, poetic cursive writing. But on closer inspection, a 1930s postage stamp of the side-facing Nazi leader is visible. Overlaid on the stamp is a postage-paid impression bearing a swastika.
“We unintentionally ordered these cups and want to take them out of circulation as quickly as possible,” Zurbrüggen said, adding that 175 mugs have already been sold. It’s likely some of the mug owners have yet to realize that Hitler is on their coffee cups. Zurbrüggen said only six have been returned. The company is contacting purchasers of the mug and offering $27 voucher upon their return.
As for the remaining 4,800 or so mugs, Zurbrüggen says they have all been destroyed, and they are seeking monetary reimbursement from the Chinese distributor, saying that the image of Hitler should never have been imprinted on the cups to begin with. When contacting the distributor, the company was told Chinese designers added the image, unaware of who Hitler was, says the Daily News.
Displaying Nazi symbols like the Swastika is illegal in Germany, says NewsMax.com. History of the Nazi reign and Adolph Hitler is much less palatable to Germans than to those who are not German. The mug-purchasing incident is even being investigated by German police, though it’s unlikely any formal charges will be filed over the buying blunder.
“Police are presently collecting evidence and will forward their findings to the prosecutor’s office, where we will have to determine whether there would be reasonable suspicion of a deliberate act,” said Christoph Mackel of the prosecutor’s office in Bielefeld.