Draw Hitler using a crayon named Auschwitz Ash

December 20, 2019 by Henry Benjamin
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Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission has called on major credit card companies and Paypal to block payments for a New York Internet company which sells colouring books and crayons including one colour named “Auschwitz Ash”.

Alice Vaughn

But the owner of the web business Offensive Crayons Alice Vaughn used satire to expose the nastier elements of contemporary history.

She told J-Wire: “Comedy doesn’t cause antisemitism. Quite the contrary, talking about these topics gives people room to really think about them, starting with having honest conversations about what the stereotypes are. Comedy helps to highlight the absurdity of the stereotypes. Time is much better spent going after people who are serious about antisemitism, not the ones who joke about it.

Members of my family died in Auschwitz and I don’t want to live in a world where we can’t make fun of Nazis.”

The business started in 2017 and Alice Vaughn said Auschwitz Ash is one of the original colours in the set.  She said: “It’s not new, and frankly it’s the only crayon in the pack that makes any reference to the Holocaust. Those saying I’m explicitly targeting the Jewish community with my products are misrepresenting the brand.”

A month ago her company launched colouring-book Happy Little Dictators. In the book, there is a page showing a curly-haired Adolf Hitler in his painting days.

A self-confessed Mel Brooks tragic, Alice explained: “We can all agree that dictatorships are horrific, and one of the key things any regime wants is to shut down dissonance and speech. What’s a better way to mock histories worst dictators than to put them in absurd scenarios?

I fully understand that your business is based on satire.  Do you have any concerns about the messages the products send may be used to mock those you are standing up for?

“Intention is what matters. At the end of the day, both speech and comedy are subjective, and everyone has their own line. Nothing is off-limits when it comes to comedy, and never should be. The fact is, comedy looks to tragic and dark situations all the time as a way to cope and have conservations. You can make offensive jokes about tragic situations, and that doesn’t mean you endorse the horrible thing, nor does it downplay the tragedy. For example, if you tell a “dead baby joke”, that doesn’t mean you endorse infanticide. That’s absurd.  My concern is when people look at these crayons and attribute meaning that isn’t there and try shutting down conversation. Calling the crayons or any satire that makes light of the tragedy “antisemitic”, waters down the meaning of antisemitism, and it sets a dangerous precedent as we’ve historically seen time and time again when people try to regulate speech.

She added: “Honestly, the public has been hugely receptive to Happy Little Dictators and Offensive Crayons. Heck, in most posts, whenever people attempt to “shame” us for the crayons, they’re often called out in the comments that the point of our products is to be “offensive” and we’re equatable to Cards Against Humanity.

Thankfully, most people, including members of the tribe, have been exceptionally supportive of the product.”

Alice Vaughn’s family has its roots in Poland. She added: “My family very much approves, and hasn’t had any issue with it. Don’t worry, I’ve disappointed them in other ways, specifically never became a doctor and not giving them grandkids.

We do ship to Australia, but unfortunately, the international shipping rates are a tad exorbitant at US$11.

Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dvir Abramovich said: “Shame on the creators of this sick and cruel product and those selling it, who have crossed so many red lines I stopped counting.

This is abuse and trivialisation of the Holocaust of the worst kind, and another sad demonstration that all bets are off when it comes to the cheapening of this unprecedented tragedy. What kind of people joke about the more than 1.1 [million] men, women and children who were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and whose corpses were incinerated in the crematorium?

There is nothing funny, amusing or entertaining about Auschwitz, and this product, which represents a new low in our culture tramples on the feelings of the survivors and their families.”

Others colours in the crayon range are Miscarriage Maroon and Suspicious Cold Sore Red.

Alice Vaughn would welcome a distributor in Australia.


4 Responses to “Draw Hitler using a crayon named Auschwitz Ash”
  1. Donald Goldberg says:

    I am a very proud Jew. And I can tolerate a lot of bad jokes made at our expense, because as Jews, we know how laugh at ourselves. If you Alice Vaughan actually lives in Brooklyn, she should know that. But some things are not funny; they are just intolerable. This product is one of them; and with it, Alice has proven herself to be an ignorant, unthinking, uncaring and heartless disgrace to humanity.

  2. Carole sewelson says:

    I would just like to know why the above crayons and colouring book showing Aldof Hitler as the happy little dictator and the crayons called Auschwitz Ash . This is very offensive and should not be allowed to be sold , Lots of people were gassed in Auschwitz by that tyrant , so to call a crayon after Auschwitz is absolutely disgusting .. Families were gassed people who lost families in Auschwitz is appalling . Whoever thought of this need to hang their head in shame . If this isn’t posted I will understand why . You just don’t care .. Just take a minute and think how would you feel if you had lost family in the Holocaust ..

  3. Robert Seward says:

    Miscarriage Maroon? That is not satire. It is just cruel.

  4. Mary jo Smith says:

    Is it really satire though? Portraying Adolph Hitler as a Bob Ross lookalike is hardly satire. The image and concept softens a mass murderer image in the modern day world and trivializes then evil behind the person. This concept is way off the mark.

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