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.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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Frane Lessac