Zippo Recalls Lighters Sold on Neo-Nazi Website - Business on NBCNews.com
Zippo’s German distributor is withdrawing a number of lighters bearing militaristic designs after they showed up on an extremist website that sells anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi clothing and accessories.
Zippo Manufacturing Co., the venerable Pennsylvania company that produced the offensive lighters, said it had no idea the designs carried a negative connotation and apologized for bringing them to market.
One lighter bears the image of a soldier and the word “Landser” — an old German word for infantryman, but also the name of a German neo-Nazi rock band whose members were convicted of hate crimes a decade ago.
Other lighters feature an iron cross — a German military decoration first awarded in the 19th century and appropriated by Adolf Hitler — combined with excerpts from German folk songs.
“The images on the lighters are typical of German right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis, though not so typical of their American counterparts, who are more free to directly use Nazi imagery,” said Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League.
Nazi imagery is illegal in Germany.