Angela Thompson, an French Tutor from Harrogate, England, found a most disturbing set of products being sold during her vacation in Italy.
The coffee mugs bearing Adolf Hitler's likeness and Nazi symbolism were found for sale at a small supermarket in Venice.
The harms that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party did to the world shouldn't be unfamiliar to anyone, but that evidently doesn't matter to some shopkeepers as long as the products sell well.
The supermarket, run by one Stefano Nopetti also sells wine bottles bearing the likenesses of Hitler and Mussolini. When asked about why he carries the products, Nopetti told la Repubblica:
"It's just business. I don't understand who is indignant and I'm against false morality. I vote M5S, I'm neither fascist nor Nazi. But if people buy them - and these bottles they they buy so many - I keep selling them."
He further defended himself, saying:
"I know that Nazism was evil, I also tell my daughter. But for me this is a business."
Thompson shared her horror at the find by sharing an image on Twitter.
Wtf! Just arrived in Italy on holiday and I knew fascism was on the rise here but still shocked to see these in the… https://t.co/DpeTIW3mJw— Angela Thompson #FBPE (@Angela Thompson #FBPE)1564406454.0
Unfortunately, several far-right trolls took this as an invitation to hijack the thread and praise the store owner for selling the items.
Not everyone was there to troll, though.
@angethomptutor @lottyburns Surely not, no, it's not possible, ............. please tell me this is a wind-up? I feel sick.— James Johnson (@James Johnson)1564490690.0
@angethomptutor Is it a local store or a chain? I've seen this stuff at local markets but never in a supermarket.— El_Poderoso (@El_Poderoso)1564644741.0
It seems these aren't new products.
@angethomptutor @mckinlay_liz It’s never been unusual in Italy in course of the past 30yrs or so to find this sort of stuff.— Slimshady (@Slimshady)1564677497.0
@angethomptutor @Michelle_coll3 It’s always been like that in certain parts I saw beer bottles like that in 2006 in shops— CeltiCRa8⭐️-IAR🍀 (@CeltiCRa8⭐️-IAR🍀)1564674821.0
Still, there were some pretty strong feelings about whether or not these products belonged on the shelves.
@angethomptutor @gpiazentin I am in a state of mind that if I see something like this in front of me, I would break it all— Amanda Abex. (@Amanda Abex.)1564674633.0
Italy is no stranger to the disastrous effects of a fascist government, but seems to have begun straying in that direction again.
Just last month, authorities found a cache of weapons during a raid on a far-right cell. Included in that weapons cache was an 11-foot air-to-air missile, rocket launchers, and a plethora of neo-Nazi propaganda.
One group of extremists certainly isn't representative of the whole country. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's xenophobic rhetoric and unapologetic racism might be working to change that, though.
When a major public figure and member of government is willing to use racial slurs on Twitter, the people who share those sentiments see that it is safe to voice them in public. This can quickly lead to an environment that is even less safe for oppressed populations.
History has proven time and time again that fascism isn't good for anyone except whoever is at the top. The fact that people still idolize the fascist leaders of the past and support fascist policies in modern governments simply boggles the mind.
The WWII era WHY WE FIGHT Frank Capra's Epic Documentary Series is available here to learn more from the time of Hitler.