Wednesday, 26. November 2014
25. 07. 14. - 16:00
A Polish company that makes a cut-price version of Lego bricks popular in Eastern Europe is in hot water after creating a set to mark the 70th anniversary of a bloody World War II battle.
The images for the Cobi toy firm's "Warsaw Uprising" commemorative set shows a picture of smiling German soldiers waving machine guns against a background of burning Lego-style block buildings.
The bloody battle between Polish resistance fighters and Hitler’s Nazi soldiers on which the latest toy from Cobi is based started on August 1, 1944, and lasted 63 days as the Poles waited for support from Stalin’s Red Army.
But despite British PM Winston Churchill’s demands for the Soviets to help, Stalin ordered his troops to wait outside of the city centre as the Nazis slowly crushed the resistance.
After the battle an enraged Hitler ordered troops to obliterate the city, with SS chief Heinrich Himmler telling SS officers: "The city must completely disappear from the surface of the earth and serve only as a transport station for the Wehrmacht. No stone can remain standing. Every building must be razed to its foundation."
Now locals are furious that the building block set from Polish toymakers Cobi showing smiling German soldiers attacking Polish resistance fighters has gone on sale.
Resident Tomasz Kuczynski, 45, said: "My Grandfather fought in the Warsaw Uprising and many of his friends were killed in it.
"I think these toys are appalling and tarnish the memory of those who died fighting for freedom.
"If children play with these they could get a very skewed understanding of the sacrifices made by the Polish resistance and of the thousands who were slaughtered," he said.
Cobi has fought a number of high-profile legal battles with Lego over alleged copyright infringement that went all the way to the EU High Court with Lego claiming Cobi had stolen their intellectual property.
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