Tattoo Shop Drops Nod To Nazi Death Camp Gate, Apologizes
A brushfire raged online Monday night after a tattoo parlor, the Hyena Social Club, used what was perceived as a translation of a Nazi concentration camp phrase as a wall decoration. The outrage was fueled in part by the violent trashing of the BerMax Caffe last week which sent the mother of the owner to the hospital and reportedly included a swastika being spray-painted on the wall.
The shop owner posted pictures of the grand opening on Twitter and Instagram, and one photo showed that as part of the decorations, the parlor has the slogan "Work will set you free" on the wall. For a lot of people, the first association is with the gates of Auschwitz "Arbeit Macht Frei".
When this was pointed out to the owner in comments on the photo, Andrew Shandroski went on the offensive.
He started by replying that he was being trolled for displaying the term and critics were being too sensitive.
In other responses, he claimed he knew exactly where the term came from from, thinks the people complaining are whiners and bitches.
At one point told one girl "I'm going to fuck you up".
This led to even more online challenges to his attitude and actions.
Another girl interjected on Twitter that in light of this and the nature of the attack on Bermax, she was making a donation to the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
She then told her followers that "he blocked me for saying I'd donated", and encouraged people to "donate more" as a result.
Shandroski eventually deleted all the comments criticizing him and blocked the people making them.
His wife proceeded to try to intervene and quell the reaction to what she termed a "decor" post, but her apology and reassurances failed to gain much traction.
She was up against the online sleuthing of opponents who discovered a link between the term "Hyena", and a notorious murderer who doomed inmates nicknamed the "Hyena of Auschwitz"
Irma Ida Ilse Grese was an SS guard at the concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, rising to an appointment as warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen. Captured in April 1945, Grese was convicted for crimes involving torture and murder of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen. At age 22 Grese was the youngest woman executed under British law in the 20th century.
Before the end of the night, the tattooist was forced to concede and seek forgiveness.
"I want to apologize to all the people I offended with the words on my wall", began Shandroski in a post prefaced by a simulated hand-drawn heart.
"It was not meant as a message of hate or intended to hurt people."
"My responses to comments were insensitive and did not reflect my true feelings on the matter" he wrote explaining "I acted in defence when I should have responded in remorse."
He concluded "it has since been removed."
TheJ.ca will follow up on this story.