Fashion firm pulps catalogues over Nazi insignia

18th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2006, Ratingen, Germany (dpa) - Fashion concern Esprit said Wednesday it is withdrawing 200,000 catalogues because of buttons in them that appear to have a swastika design. "It has come as a great shock to us and is very annoying," said Esprit board chairman Heinz Kroger, whose company employs 8,400 people worldwide. The leather buttons were made in England and have been used for many years by various fashion concerns, including rivals of Esprit, Kroger said. The catalogue was produced in London

18 October 2006

Ratingen, Germany (dpa) - Fashion concern Esprit said Wednesday it is withdrawing 200,000 catalogues because of buttons in them that appear to have a swastika design.

"It has come as a great shock to us and is very annoying," said Esprit board chairman Heinz Kroger, whose company employs 8,400 people worldwide.

The leather buttons were made in England and have been used for many years by various fashion concerns, including rivals of Esprit, Kroger said.

The catalogue was produced in London and approved by affiliates in several different countries who unfortunately did not notice the resemblance, he said.

"We have known these traditional English buttons for years," said Kroger. "That's why nobody ever dreamt they could be associated with such a thing."

The company became aware of the problem when prosecutors, acting on a complaint from a woman lawyer, announced they were investigating Esprit for displaying insignia of a banned organization.

The swastika and other insignia associated with the Nazis is outlawed in Germany.

Last month a court in Stuttgart fined a 32-year-old man more than 7,000 euros (8,700 dollars) for selling anti-Nazi badges that showed a swastika with a line through it, as in a traffic sign.

DPA

Subject: German news

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