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Posted: 10/28/2004 1:13:55 PM EST
Virgin Store Pulls Nazi Doll


A doll depicting members of a Nazi SS combat division is photographed with all the accessories. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam)

By JEREMY HAINSWORTH

A doll depicting members of a Nazi SS combat division is photographed with all the accessories. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam)
VANCOUVER (CP) - Virgin Megastores apologized Monday for any harm that may have resulted from its outlets selling dolls portraying members of a Nazi SS combat division originally created to guard concentration camps.

In a statement, the company also said the dolls depicting members of the Totenkopf Division are no longer being stocked in its Vancouver store. While members of the division fought in Normandy in 1944, it was originally formed at Dachau, Germany, site of the first concentration camp outside Munich. The Totenkopf continued to guard camps until the end of the Second World War.

"Virgin Megastores does not actively promote ideologies, beliefs or political views that may be associated with the nature of its product offering," said the statement.

"While never intending to cause offence, the company wishes to apologize for any unintentional harm that this product item may have caused."

The sale of the dolls angered Holocaust survivors and the Canadian Jewish Congress, who called for the withdrawal of the figures.

The Nazi dolls were gone from the Vancouver store Sunday, but Virgin did not acknowledge the move until Monday. Nor did it say if the policy would cover other Virgin outlets.


"Virgin is currently reviewing its policy in relation to the replenishment of this product," the statement concluded.

The figure is part of a Second World War series from Plan-B Toys of Groveport, Ohio.

Plan-B co-president Chris Borman said earlier that the company did not set out to offend anyone with the dolls which were drawn from the video Call of Duty from Activision, but was just portraying the Totenkopf troops which fought in Normandy.

He said the Totenkopf figures were picked because "they've got the coolest gear. It makes for a cool figure."

Borman said his grandfathers had fought in Europe for his "right to make whatever I want."

Other figures in the doll series include several Waffen SS figures and a variety of U.S. airborne soldier figures as well as regular Wehrmacht troops.

On Monday, several of the American figures remained at the Vancouver Virgin outlet.

Dr. Robert Krell of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre was pleased to hear of the apology and that the figures had been removed.

But he said he was "truly astonished" to hear a company had actually devoted time to creating the figures.

"We are hoping to reach people with educational programs to alert them to the sensitivities surrounding what happened with Nazi Germany," said Krell, who spent several years hiding from the Nazis in Holland.

But, added Krell, the Totenkopf also captured and killed Canadian soldiers.

On May 26, 1940, a company of the Canadian Royal Norfolk Regiment surrendered to the 2nd Totenkopf Infantry Regiment under the command of SS Obersturmfuhrer Fritz Knoechlein.

The Canadians were lined up in the meadow along a barn wall. When the 99 prisoners were in position, two machine guns opened fire, killing 97 of them.

Knoechlein was hanged for war crimes in 1949.

"(The Canadians) were not treated according to the Geneva Convention," Krell said. "For someone at this particular company not to even think perhaps about . . . the American soldiers who suffered the same fate in liberating Europe from these monsters.

"That is appalling ignorance. It's frightening," Krell said. "I can't imagine what veterans must have thought."

The SS was the elite private army initially formed as a bodyguard for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler which was eventually commanded by Heinrich Himmler. Members had to meet Nazi racial purity standards.

Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:17:06 PM EST
isnt it just a fucking video game character??? what a crock
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:21:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:
isnt it just a fucking video game character??? what a crock



For a lot of people, no.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:27:53 PM EST
Lets make a big deal out of it so some asshat can put em' on ebay and make a pile of cash. The Nazis were nasty bastards, yes... but it happened.

Nothing about this action figure is celebrating the damned holocaust. Don't like em, don't buy em. Gangstas shoot people every day but I'm not pissing and moaning in front of Toys R Us about carrying "Homies". It's a damned piece of plastic.

Is ignorance truly bliss?

I'll go out on a limb and assume Tactical_Jew is of Jewish lineage...what is your take on em'?
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:29:02 PM EST
That guy would have been perfect for GI Joe to wup ass on.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:30:06 PM EST
it's a friggin toy soldier. kids play with them, axis v. allies and the g.i. wins. like cowboys and indians...i wonder where the harm is.

i understand it was probably wise to remove the toy for marketing purposes, but too many people get emotional over this kind of thing. it reminds me of all those folks who were offended by the georgia flag -- it was decades ago, people need to lighten up some. buying or producing that toy doesn't make anyone a nazi sympathizer -- it's just a villain from a video game, much like the McFarlane action figures. big freakin whoop.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:32:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By NorCal_LEO:

I'll go out on a limb and assume Tactical_Jew is of Jewish lineage...what is your take on em'?



My aunt got me the SOTW German GI Joe back in the early 70's.

They sell Nutzi stuff at gun shows. If it bothered me I wouldn't go.

My Grandma loved watching Hogans Heroes.

Homies?
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:33:17 PM EST





Plan-B co-president Chris Borman...

said his grandfathers had fought in Europe for his "right to make whatever I want."






I bet his grandfathers would rise from their graves and beat his sorry ass within an inch of his life if they could.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 1:37:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 1:41:47 PM EST by NorCal_LEO]

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:

Homies?



Homies are the little wayyyy stereotyped hispanic gangsta characters you get in gumball machines and in sets at the toystores. Kinda like gi joes from the barrio.



Edited to add: I DO have officer Placa. "Where's the donuts Ese?"

Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:00:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By jcncc:
That guy would have been perfect for GI Joe to wup ass on.




Hahhaha yup
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:04:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:08:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:

My Grandma loved watching Hogans Heroes.




As a side note, my deceased father-in-law was a prisoner of war and was held in the real Stalag 13.

He didn't ever see Hogan.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:12:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By MillerSHO:
Call of Duty action figures, all be damned.




Ohhh OHHH OHHH!


Sgtar15
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:12:48 PM EST
Could be worse:

Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:14:46 PM EST
They also used the Totenkopf name in the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Seriously, though, it's just a toy. If the figure was so terrible, then why are there German model tanks, half-tracks, warplanes, etc. Wouldn't that be the same thing?
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 2:17:43 PM EST
You think they would pull this Nazi Doll off the shelf?

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