World Europe First Look

Dutch stores pull children's coloring book after discovering Hitler image within its pages

A chain of Dutch stores has apologized after mistakenly selling coloring books that featured a picture of Adolf Hitler. 

A color-by-numbers image of Adolf Hitler went on sale this week in a children's coloring book. A chain of Dutch stores has apologized after inadvertently selling children’s color-by-numbers books featuring an image of the German Nazi leader.
Ray Vervloed/AP
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  • Associated Press
    Associated Press

 A chain of Dutch stores has apologized after inadvertently selling children's coloring books featuring an image of Adolf Hitler.

The Kruidvat chain of drugstores posted a statement on its website saying the coloring books, which went on sale this week, were immediately pulled from shelves after the discovery of an "inappropriate image."

The image shows Hitler giving a Nazi salute. On his left arm is a red band with a swastika.

Without directly referring to Hitler, the company says it is investigating how the image got into the books "despite various checks of the content."

Kruidvat declined further comment Thursday. It was not clear how many of the books were sold.

Imagery related to the Nazi era is handled with high sensitivity. In several European countries, dressing as Hitler or displaying swastikas is illegal, unless done so for historical purposes.

And as The Christian Science Monitor has previously reported, debates as to how to reconcile past atrocities with a nation's history remain, and many are cautious of any iteration that seems to celebrate or glorify Nazism. 

“No one expects the Nazis to come back,” Thomas Berger, a Boston University professor of international relations who has written a book about the role of guilt in post-World War II politics, told the Monitor. But there are disturbing similarities between politics of mid 20th-century Europe and the present, he adds. “European political leaders want to remind the general population that Europe stands against it.”