A children’s paint-by-letters book featuring Adolf Hitler wearing a swastika and raising his arm in a Nazi salute has been pulled from the shelves of a supermarket in the Netherlands following parent outrage.
The book, with a full-size page of the German dictator who oversaw the deaths of more than 11 million people, remained for sale at Dutch drugstore chain Kruidvat for half a day and sold several dozen copies before the chain and the publisher both apologized, the BBC reports.
“Maybe he did not recognize him,” a spokesperson for the Belgian publisher Trifora told local news outlet NU.nl after calling the incident a “regrettable mistake.” The book was produced in India for the Belgian publisher and featured other historical figures such as Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein.
The book drew outrage both within the Netherlands and around the world once images of a colored-in Hitler started circulating on social media:
Umm ok so Dutch retailer Kruidvat has just withdrawn this kids’ colouring book featuring Adolf Hitler complete with Swastika and Nazi salute pic.twitter.com/M2FLwyi8HN
— Katy Lee (@kjalee) April 5, 2017
Hitler coloring book for sale at biggest drugstore chain in The Netherlands. And people upset it was pulled from the shelves ????
— Flavia Dzodan (@redlightvoices) April 5, 2017
Wow, is the whole world going crazy? Really a coloring book w/Hitler. WTF
— Brenda Miller (@Brenda77526425) April 6, 2017
Oh. My. Fucking. God. A Dutch store called “kruitvat” released a children’s coloring book this Monday, it has a drawing of Hitler! WTF! pic.twitter.com/4YDVbJzcVS
— lineke verboven (@xXlinekeXx) April 5, 2017
Like many Western countries, the Netherlands has recently experienced a surge in far-right populism and intolerance. In a statement released on the company’s Facebook page, Kruidvat said it was examining how they could have missed the image and would be offering full refunds to anyone who purchased the book.