Jewish group sends message to Sheffield Halloween shop after it 'sells out' of Nazi costume
The Board of Deputies of British Jews has urged a Sheffield Halloween shop to stop selling a ‘Gestapo officer’ costume.
Sheffield’s ‘Party On’ fancy dress shop has a ‘Gestapo Officer’ outfit available to purchase inside its Division Street store for £35.
The costume includes a hat, button shirt, trousers, boots and red armband but does not include the swastika symbol synonymous with the Nazi party.
The Gestapo were the ‘Secret State Police’ used in Nazi Germany to ruthlessly eliminate opposition to the regime and a vital component in the Holocaust.
Officers, working alongside the SS, helped round up and deport enemies, including members of the Jewish community, to concentrate camps.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews has labelled the costume a disgrace and urged it to be removed from sale.
A spokesperson said: “Dressing up for Halloween in a Gestapo uniform is not funny, it’s grossly offensive to all those whose family members were murdered in the Holocaust.
“We would urge this outlet to stop selling the uniform immediately.”
The controversial costume has remained on sale in the shop, with managers telling The Independent it is intended to be sold to ‘professional actors’.
Awall Yousoff, manager at Party On said that the store was renowned for selling costumes to theatrical companies and was popular with local university students.
He said: “This particular costume is mainly purchased by that type of customer, it doesn’t really get sold around Halloween.
“We would like to apolgise to anyone who’s offended by the costume.”
Edwin Chomer, a member of the Jewish community in Sheffield, said that they are deeply offended by the costume adding that he has raised the issue with the shop’s managers himself.
However, he was once again told that the costume was intended for ‘theatrical groups’ and that it was now ‘sold out’.
The community will now be sending a joint letter to ‘Party On’, registering their ‘disgust at this ongoing situation and their refusal to remove the outfit in question’,
Edwin said: “The costume is in the shop next to other novelty items like a Top Gun outfit, novelty glasses and a Donald Trump wig.
“The shop is called ‘Party On’ and these are party items. How many party shops sell Gestapo uniforms?
“Is an amateur dramatic group really going to be buying a £35 Gestapo costume from a fancy dress store? There’s just something not quite right about it.
“It’s a very weak argument. A large amount of the Jewish community in Sheffield came here as refugees during the Second World War.
“It’s disgusting that they should have to see this in a fancy dress shop. It is not a Halloween costume and should be on sale.”