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OPINION

Why Did a Clothing Company Name its Parka Coat After a Nazi Death Camp?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Here’s a bizarre one circulating the blogosphere that will both interest and enrage fashionistas, history buffs, and humanitarians alike. It’s not every day a simple parka coat can evoke such strong feelings of bewilderment and disgust. But there’s apparently some warped minds over at the British clothing label “Evil Twin,” who are going to make you feel all that and then some.
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That’s because the company has started peddling the Nazi-inspired “Belsen Was A Gas Military Parka.”

The parka is allegedly named after an acerbic and arguably offensive song by the British group the Sex Pistols titled “Belsen Was a Gas.”

For historical reference, the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, located in northwest Germany, is where Anne Frank along with some 50,000 other prisoners were murdered during the Holocaust.

The content of the song, allegedly written by the Pistols’ lead singer John Lydon, is perhaps as jaw-dropping now as it surely was when it was first released in the 1960's. In an interview, Lydon reportedly said the song was a meant to be darkly humorous and “ironic.” He also reportedly said the song was a “very nasty, silly little thing… that should’ve ended up on the cutting room floor.” As you will see and hear in the video below, however, it didn’t. One verse reads:

Belsen was a gas, I heard the other day In the open graves where the Jews all lay “Life is fun and I wish you were here” They wrote on postcards to those held dear.

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Other than the coat’s name, intended presumably for the shock value, the parka itself is not remarkable. It is, perhaps not surprisingly, military green in color and features a black-and-red plaid lining.

Stylite reportedly tried to reach out to Evil Twin’s U.S. press department to ask about the name for its parka, but did not receive a response.

Pictures of the Belsen parka are featured in this post and you can listen to the song that served as its inspiration below. Caution, the song contains lyrics pertaining to Jews being killed at the death camp.

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