Holocaust imagery added to designer's Obama shirt

(Credit: Urbanite)

Photo by Jefferson Siegel

Culturally sensitive shoppers might be warned: Fashion designer Doron Braunshtein has pushed his politics to the next level.

Not content to rest with his headline-grabbing “Obama = Hitler” and “Jews Against Obama” T-shirts, the Israeli immigrant who goes by Apollo Braun has brought Holocaust emblems into the mix.

A mannequin at Braunshtein’s Lower East Side shop displays a “Who Killed Obama?” T-shirt with a “Jude” star safety-pinned to its shoulder, which was famously used in Nazi Germany to identify people of the Jewish faith.

A memoir on surviving the concentration camp Auschwitz is tucked into a USA flag-themed belt. Another holocaust patch is on the mannequin’s shorts and a keffiyeh (a scarf similar to one warn by former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat) is tied around the neck.

The designer, who says he is practicing Jew, said he’s regaining a piece of Jewish identity that was manipulated to be degrading.

“I take it back, like when younger African Americans use the ‘N’ word,” he said, referring to the star. “I’m taking back something that was meant to separate me from others. I am enjoying it and I’m proud to be a Jew.”

But what’s the Obama beef?

“’Obama’ sounds a little bit like ‘Osama,’” Braunshtein said. “And his middle name is Hussein. It’s a fact.”

Braunshtein added that he doesn’t trust the Democratic candidate’s likeability factor.

“Obama is such a charismatic person,” he said. “If I were to meet with him face-to-face in a room, I would fall in love with him. He will say what you want to hear. People admire him like they admired Hitler.”

The “Jews Against Obama” shirt retails for $250.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone’s a fan of Braunshtein’s work.

Burkina, a clothing store around the corner from Braun’s shop, proudly displays a pro-Obama shirt.

“People can have whatever shirt they want but I don’t think they should have one that’s wishing death. It’s morally not acceptable,” said Burkina’s owner, Hamed Burkina.

Fans and foes should be prepared: Braunshtein says another explosive T-shirt is just around the corner.

“It’s the most extreme one ever,” he says. “Someone is going shoot me over it. And it’s okay; I don’t mind being killed for my art.”

— Kathleen Bulson and Megan Stride

More here and here.

Click to see more art inspired by Obama

Tags: apollo braun , barack obama , manhattan , race and ethnicity , neighborhoods

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