Umbro forced to apologise over Nazi Zyklon shoe brand

LONDON - Umbro, the sportswear firm and England football kit supplier, has been forced to apologise for a brand of trainer called Zyklon, the name of the gas used to murder hundreds of thousands of Jews in Nazi death camps.

The name does not appear on the trainers themselves, but appears in advertising for the brand and has been used for three years.

The Holocaust education charity the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, saw the Zyklon shoes advertised on the internet and contacted Umbro, demanding that the shoes be withdrawn immediately.

It said that the use of the Zyklon name was an insult to all the victims and survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, and "an encouragement to neo-Nazis and skinheads who terrorise the football terraces".

The gas used in the Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, was called Zyklon B, a commercial form of hydrocyanic acid that became active on contact with air.

Umbro has said that the name of the shoe has already been changed in the UK, and the company planned to change the name in other countries. According to The Independent, a spokesman for Umbro said the company wished to express its sincere regret.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

Jennifer Whitehead, recommends

Simon Wiesenthal Centre

Read more