A Shell gas station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was selling face masks patterned with swastikas and other Nazi symbols, according to a story from local news station WPLG on Thursday.
A customer named Kelly Wagner told local news station WPLG that she had seen the masks at a Shell station located at 6201 Powerline Road. A reporter from the station traveled to the gas station and purchased one of the masks, noting that she was the only one there.
Wagner said he had asked the woman behind the service station counter if Shell was “selling swastika face masks.”
He claimed that the employee told him that the store sold “what they give us to sell.”
Rabbi Arnie Samlan of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Florida, told WPLG that he was “deeply offended” by the face masks.
“What we have in the United States is a lack of understanding and knowledge of what Natzism stood for and the symbols used by the Nazis,” Samlan said.
After purchasing a swastika mask, which also contained images of Nazi eagles, at the station, WPLG asked the gas station manager, identified as Mohammad Hossin, about the clothing.
“I have no idea,” Hossin is quoted as replying when asked if he knew the meaning of the symbols on the mask.
He was then asked if he knew what a swastika was, and again he replied that he did not.
Rabbi Samlan told the news outlet that seeing the masks were “shocking but not surprising.”
“It is a symbol of hatred,” he said. “It is a symbol of racial superiority. When I see this symbol, I think of genocide. ”
Frank Guzman, the Broward bureau chief for local news station WSVN, tweeted a photo of one of the Shell station face masks, writing that “management says they did not realize that a recent shipment of masks contained these particular designs. ”
Shell Oil Products said in a statement that the company “does not approve of hate symbols and is in contact with the licensee of this site to obtain them. This is a short summary.