Seriously? New York Subway Cars Decorated With Nazi Symbols

As every New Yorker knows, subways are not just a way of getting around, they are a vehicle for advertising. 


But many New Yorkers were shocked to discover recently that subway cars on one of the city's most popular routes were adorned with Nazi- and Imperial Japan-inspired regalia. Why? Because Amazon thought it would be a clever way to get the word out about its original TV series, "The Man in the High Castle," based on the 1962 novel by Philip K. Dick.

Actually, "adorned" is an understatement. The cars were fully transformed into the world envisioned in the series, an alternate history in which the Axis powers won WWII and the U.S. is occupied by the Nazis and the Japanese. The entire bank of subway seats were covered in Nazi iconography. The walls were painted red for Imperial Japan. Images of New York landmarks with Nazi insignia were on the walls. 

And the Metropolitan Transit Authority said, Yes!

Subway riders were quick to react, "WTF!" writer Susan Shapiro wrote on Facebook: "Amazon & MTA have to get rid of the disgusting hateful Nazi signs on the subway! After the Paris terrorism and right before Thanksgiving? WTF were you thinking?"

Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed, saying the ads were “irresponsible and offensive.”

Amazon & MTA thought it was a fine idea to plaster NYC subway with Nazi imagery. https://t.co/H7vDZYsaBa pic.twitter.com/YmXWs6lpLS

— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) November 24, 2015

what's up w/these #NYC subway seats painted in nazi theme? don't worry, they're gone now. https://t.co/cxg553fRFU pic.twitter.com/1cQsb1JsTw

— Kristen Sze (@abc7kristensze) November 25, 2015

Assemblyman Dov Hikind who represents a heavily Jewish district in Brooklyn, said in a statement: “The pain [Amazon is] causing by plastering the subway with Nazi regalia is disgusting.”

The MTA took the ads down after the outcry. Duh!

It's not the first time MTA advertsing has been embroiled in controversy. As the New York Observer reported:

For those citing a lack of common sense on the MTA’s part, it’s interesting to note that not two months ago the MTA went to court in an attempt to ban advertisements for documentary The Muslims Are Coming! the agency worried were offensive. In almost the exact opposite of the High Castle situation, Judge Colleen McMahon ruled the MTA had to display the The Muslims Are Coming! posters — which included slogans like “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes" — saying the “advertisements are undoubtedly commercial under the new policy; they promote and solicit the sale of the documentary.”

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