Washington: An Estonian newspaper has provoked global outrage after it published an advertisement for diet pills, mocking the gaunt and scrawny victims of Buchenwald, Germany`s largest death camp.
The astonishing picture of dozens of starving men is accompanied by the strapline: “One, Two, Three… Dr Mengele slimming pills work wonders for you! There were no thickset people in Buchenwald!”
Jewish organisations have denounced Eesti Ekspress for publishing the image, which ran in the paper`s humour section.
Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem called the mock advert in the Estonian weekly a “perverted attempt at humour at the expense of the Nazis`` millions of victims”, the Daily Mail reports.
Sulev Vedler, the deputy editor of Eesti Ekspress, said the mock advert was poking fun at an Estonian gas company that recently used an image of the infamous gates to Nazi death camp Auschwitz to promote its services.
Next to the inscription ``Arbeit macht frei,`` or ``Work makes you free``, the caption of the photo read: ``Gas heating — flexible, convenient, and effective”.`
Within a day, the gas company had removed to image from the website and company director Sven Linros issued an apology.
However, Vedler apologised for the offence caused, adding that it “was not targeted against Jewish people”.
Alla Jakobson, a spokeswoman for Estonia`s Jewish community, said that the incident shows Estonian society is experiencing “major problems with moral and ethical values”.