Toy UFO taken off shelves for ‘teaching kids that Nazis achieved space travel’

Toys and models manufacturer Revell based in North Rhine-Westphalia has announced that one of their products, an aircraft described as a war machine during the Nazi period, will no longer be produced.

Toy UFO taken off shelves for ‘teaching kids that Nazis achieved space travel’
Photo: Revell via

A spokesperson from Revell said on Monday that the company will stop manufacturing and distributing the product, adding that criticism of it is “absolutely justified.”

The German Children's Protection Association (DKSB) and the Military History Museum (MHM) in Dresden had previously criticized the product for its inaccurate representation of history.

In its product description, the toy is called a “round aircraft” and “the first object in the world capable of flying in space.” The description goes on to say that the aircraft can fly “up to speeds of 6,000 km/hr” and it was not produced after its test phase in 1943 due to the Second World War.

Emblazoned with emblems from the Third Reich, the product is presented as a war machine from the period of the Nazi regime even though an aircraft like this never existed, according to the DKSB and the MHM.

“At that time it was technologically impossible to build something like this,” historian Jens Wehner from the MHM told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper.

The fact that Revell's product’s description fails to mention the aircraft never existed is risky in that people who buy it might actually believe the Nazis possessed superior technologies, Wehner added.

“Enthusiasts can use this as a strategy to cast doubt on what we know today about National Socialism,” the historian said.

The company said it agrees with the MHM, adding that “it is in fact a legendary, extraordinary aircraft which cannot be proven in terms of its existence.”

“Unfortunately, our product description does not adequately express this and we apologize for it,” Revell said in a statement. A spokeswoman emphasized that Revell explicitly distances itself from any kind of glorification of wars and the Nazi period.

Revell is currently looking into how a product of this nature was developed and brought onto the market. The development of a new product usually takes the manufacturer at least one year. Product managers are responsible for the development of models and toys and sometimes suggestions from fans are taken into consideration.

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German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown

Germany on Tuesday placed a second district under lockdown over a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse, just hours after similar restrictions were imposed for a neighbouring area.

German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown
A man wearing a protective suit in the district of Gütersloh after a coronavirus outbreak at a meat plant. Now neighbouring district Warendorf is going into lockdown. Photo: DPA

“In order to protect the population, we are now launching a further safety and security package to effectively combat the spread of the virus,” North Rhine-Westphalia health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said Tuesday, ordering a lockdown for the district of Warendorf.

Authorities had earlier announced similar measures in the neighbouring district of Gütersloh after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse.

Almost 280,000 people live in Warendorf. Businesses and cultural facilities will close, while all schools and daycare centres (Kitas) will also shut their doors.

READ ALSO: Explained – What you need to know about Germany's new local coronavirus lockdowns

In Gütersloh the new lockdown affected 360,000 people living there and will be in place until at least June 30th.

It came after more than 1,500 workers out of a total of nearly 7,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück run by Tönnies.

All workers are currently in quarantine. However, authorities are now turning to tougher rules to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The new lockdown in Gütersloh means a return to measures first introduced in March, with cinemas, museums, concert halls, bars, gyms, swimming pools and saunas shut down.

However, restaurants can remain open with rules in place.

Schools and Kitas were already closed last week in a bid to control the virus.