Menu JTA Search

U.S. Firms End Swastikas on Models

Two more U.S. toy manufacturers have agreed to stop producing model tanks, planes, ships and other military objects with Nazi markings, with the result that all U.S. production of swastika bearing toys has now ceased, the American Jewish Congress reported today.

Julius Schatz, director of the organization’s Commission on Jewish Life and Culture, said the action by Revell, Inc. of Venice, Cal. and Lindberg Products of Skokie, III. had brought to a successful conclusion a national campaign launched by the American Jewish Congress 18 months ago to put an end to the production of toys carrying Nazi symbols.

Last week, the nation’s largest toy manufacturer, Mattel, Inc. of Hawthorne, Cal., announced it would no longer provide the swastika insignia “in any of its domestic or international markets.”

The Mattel action came a week after the AJCongress had served notice it would raise the Nazi toy issue at the company’s annual meeting in Beverly Hills on June 14 A member of the AJCongress national executive committee contributed 20 shares of Mattel. stack to the AJCongress so that a representative of the organization could bring the matter up at the annual stock holders meeting.

The Mattel announcement issued last week did not refer to the threatened AJCongress stockholder action, but cited a decision of the West German Supreme Court forbidding the further use or display of the Nazi swastika with any consumer products, packaging or promotional material produced or marketed in Germany.

In December, the West German Toy Retailers Association recommended a ban on the sale of war toys bearing Nazi insignia. The ban was supported by leading church groups in West Germany.

The AJCongress drive was launched in January 1978 when Schatz learned that Mattel was producing a model of the Junker-87 Stuka divebomber and promoting the sale of it, particularly in West Germany. Schatz wrote to Mattel expressing the organization’s “abhorrence of the use of the Nazi swastika on children’s toys” and asked that such use be discontinued. Other companies were also contacted as part of the campaign.

NEXT STORY