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Press Release

ADL Outraged By Use of Concentration Camp Photo in Dubai Fitness Ad

New York, NY, January 5, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage at the use of a photo of a Nazi concentration camp in a promotional campaign for a Dubai gym.

The founder of The Circuit Factory gym in Dubai, Phil Parkinson, posted a series of 10 photos to Facebook as part of an ad campaign, including an image of the railroad leading to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the slogan, “Kiss your calories goodbye.”

After receiving complaints on Facebook and Twitter, Parkinson apologized and removed the photo. He tweeted: “Apologies for the insane poster campaign that was put up this morning. The creative guy has been told where to go.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:

The owner’s apology for the outrageous use of an image of a Nazi concentration camp to promote his fitness center is appropriate and welcome.

However, we are increasingly troubled by both the ignorance and mindset of a generation that appears to be so distant from a basic understanding of the Holocaust that it seems acceptable to use this horrific tragedy as a gimmick to bring attention to promoting losing weight.

The lessons of the Holocaust are profound and timeless.

We wonder: What do we have to do to educate and impart to current and future generations the perils of bigotry, racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism? If we do not convey the importance of eliminating these ills, society is doomed to relive the horrors of the Holocaust.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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