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Today in Holocaust fashion news, a store in West Hollywood, California has a mannequin in the window all dressed up as a Jewish Holocaust victim.
This morning, a Racked reader sent us a photo of the store display at LA Jock on Santa Monica Boulevard, where a mannequin is wearing what resembles a uniform from concentration camps, along with a yellow star and a victim number attached to his shirt.
Bora, the store's manager, said the store set up the mannequin ahead of a rally tomorrow against Russia's treatment of homosexuals, telling Racked "Putin's Russia is Hitler's Germany."
"The store's owner is Jewish so I don't think he would want to offend any Jews," Bora, who did not share his last name, said. "[The mannequin is] for shock value to get people's attention. It's more emotional and more touchy, to demonstrate the terrible things are happening in Russia."
Nir Zilberman, the store's Israeli owner, said his great grandparents were killed in the Holocaust and that he didn't care if he lost business because of the shocking mannequin display.
"What's happening in Russia is exactly what happened when Hitler decided to kill Jews, gays, and everyone else," Zilberman said. "One sad thing in America is that people need to wake up to reality and can't hide. This isn't supposed to be offensive, this is part of our history, and it sends a very clear message to stop the hate."
When asked if retail—and a male lingerie shop, no less— was an appropriate place to demonstrate Holocaust remembrance, Zilberman said the mannequin was a good way for people to see his message clearly and that he was speaking "as the voice for those who don't have a voice."
There have been various reports about the horrible treatment gay people in Russia go through; GQ recently ran an extensive report on the violence, government crackdowns, and even murders. But not everyone likes the controversial window display.
"[It's] more shocking and in poor taste. I'm just puzzled why a visual merchandiser would go that route. We all agree that they should be publicly shamed for this," Racked reader Michael Stellman told Racked.
· LA Jock [Official site]
· What it's like to be gay in Putin's Russia [GQ]
· Style Blogger Apologizes for Tone-Deaf Jewish Mausoleum Pics [Racked]