Twitter User Exposes New Orleans Shop for Selling Hitler Figurines
A Twitter post has exposed a New Orleans shop that is apparently selling figurines of Adolph Hitler.
On Sunday a Twitter user tweeted the audio of a phone call he had with the owner of a shop in New Orleans to ask them about the figurines that they had for sale in their shop.
In the audio, the owner(s) of the shop saw nothing wrong with selling the figurines and seemed to have the "if people will buy it, we'll sell it" attitude about items in their store.
The story begins with Twitter user Rafael Shimunov posting about what he found when he visited New Orleans in January.
I walked into a New Orleans gift shop to find a section featuring Hitler figurines. Later I called them to talk about antisemitism and racism. - Rafael Shimunov, Twitter
After Shimunov spoke with the shop owners on the phone (at least twice), he summed up the interaction in this way:
It did not go well.- Rafael Shimunov, Twitter
During the phone call, Shimunov explained that he was in the shop earlier that week when he saw the Hitler memorabilia, so he was calling to ask who he could talk to about that kind of thing being offered in the store.
"What do you mean?" was the response from the woman on the phone. As Shimunov began to explain, "Well, I mean they are figurines of Adolph Hitler, so...", the woman hands the phone to a man as she says "There is a gentleman that wants to reconsider showing a figurine of Adolph Hitler".
When the man gets on the phone and Shuminov asks him if he considered how the Hitler figurines make some people feel, the man responded with what sounded like a sales pitch.
"It's actually handmade items that we carry", was his response, as if that would make selling the items in his store more acceptable, in some way.
What we have inside of our store has nothing to do with anything you can decide or not decide.
Shimunov tried to explain to the shop owners that he was giving them the opportunity to see why selling the items is wrong and allowing them to correct it before he put them on blast on social media. At one point during the call, Shuminov asked the owners if they would consider selling KKK (Ku Klux Klan) items. The response was this: "If someone requests it, then we would maybe look for it." The woman on the phone also said that Hitler was "it is part of history and you just have to accept it". No, he doesn't, ma'am; no he doesn't. Shimunov also noted that he found no items in the store related to Black culture, but that there was a section of Russian items.
Apparently, the shop owners were unrelenting in their want to continue to sell the items, so Shimunov has now taken to Twitter.
According to a post in Nola.com's Gambit, the incident occured in January and is just now coming to light because Shimunov thought that the time was right to expose them, as we have recently seen a rise in anti-Semitism in America.
The outlet also reported that the voicemail for the business was full when they tried to reach out for comment.