A strong controversy has arisen in Chile after it was disclosed that the Readers’ Club of the newspaper El Mercurio, the product store of one of the oldest newspapers in the South American country, put up for sale a figure of a Schutzstaffel soldier (SS), the elite troops of Nazism, responsible for numerous crimes during World War II.
It is the figure of a Untersturmfuhrer (lieutenant) of the SS, which was also at a promotional price of 2,690 Chilean pesos (2.7 euros). The gadget was part of a collection of World War II soldiers that went on sale at the end of 2021, called “The protagonists of the greatest war in history.” Other figures, such as Japanese and American soldiers, however , are sold for a higher price, close to 7 euros.
The Jewish community reacted by pointing out that “it is unfortunate that we are still glorifying murderers and criminals such as the Nazi army and the SS.” The statements were made by Gerardo Gorodischer, president of the Jewish Community in Chile, to the media Interference. The same medium recalls that these figurines had already been sold in 2019, which included soldiers from the armies of France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Japan, Australia and Nazi Germany. Of the 20 soldiers, 8 were Nazis. Interestingly, there were no Soviet soldiers in the collection.
The controversy went so far that the German embassy in Chile itself reacted via Twitter, noting that it regretted that “in the 21st century, figures representing SS soldiers are marketed as collector’s items and/or exhibits, who being the spearhead of the Nazi regime carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Paraguayan newspaper Last hour put the same collection up for sale in March of this year, but without the controversial SS soldier. The newspaper The nation from Argentina did the same from September 2021, with the SS soldier included, but also with a Soviet army soldier omitted by the Chilean newspaper. In the Argentine case, the collection consisted of 25 figures.
The Mercury removed the offer from their website.
DZC (Interference, The Counter)