Urban Outfitters under fire for pink triangle tapestry

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Urban Outfitter’s “Triangle Stripe Curtain.”

File this under “Seriously?! What the hell are they thinking?!”:

Hipster clothing store chain Urban Outfitters has angered the LGBT community and the Jewish community by offering for sale a tapestry that the Anti-Defamation League called “eerily reminiscent” of the uniforms gay men were forced to wear in the Nazi concentration camps.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director and a Holocaust survivor, said: “Whether intentional or not, this gray and white stripped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture. We urge Urban Outfitters to immediately remove the product eerily reminiscent of clothing forced upon the victims of the Holocaust from their stores and online.”

According to the New York Daily News, the tapestry has apparently been removed from the company’s website, while a “Triangle-Stripe Curtain,” with no picture provided, was listed as “sold out.”

Urban Outfitters is the same company that came under fire just a few months ago for offering for sale a “vintage Kent State sweatshirt” that appeared to be splattered with blood, and in 2012 for offering for sale a t-shirt with the yellow star of David, the symbol Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany and in the concentration camps.

—  Tammye Nash

Dallas Holocaust Museum finds piece of gay art, marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

When I was working on my story on gays in the Holocaust, I asked Nanette Fodell at the Dallas Holocaust Museum if they have any pieces relating to the subject in their archives. The museum archivist found one piece.

The piece was painted in 1984 by William D. Kaddatz (1953–1989) and was purchased in a garage sale and later donated to the museum. It depicts two men wearing the pink triangle.

The card under the painting reads:

Treblinka

I saw him often in the parks in Berlin and though we were intimate we never used names or even spoke at all. I saw him just the other day bit it was far from being the same. He was standing in another enclosure the SS built for the care and feeding of the Domestic German Jews [sic]. Dogs are treated better. It was bitterly cold and had wrapped rags around his neck in a more or less futile effort to stay even a bit warmer. We all did it and still a few froze to death in their sleep. We just strive now I suppose to remember better days. I know its [sic] not anticipation of a future because they no longer exist.

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945. To mark the day, a candlelight ceremony will be at the museum at 6 p.m. Bring a traditional yahrzeit candle (Kroger on Cedar Springs has them in the kosher food section) or they will supply candles.

Museum officials sent a special welcome to the LGBT community noting the support the community gave them last July when Westboro Baptist Church began a weekend of picketing in Dallas at the museum.

Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, 211 North Record St. Jan 27 at 6-7 p.m. The museum is located at West End Station on the Red, Green, Blue and Orange lines. Parking is available at Houston Street and Pacific Avenue).

—  David Taffet