An Amazon worker in Britain has been fired after including a note that read “Greetings from Uncle Adolf” in a package to a Jewish customer. The recipient, who did not wish to be named, is believed to have been targeted for her traditional Jewish name that was recorded when she ordered a toy for her niece.
Identified by police as being in her 30s and from North London, the customer said that she was so shaken up by the note referencing Nazi leader Adolf Hitler that she took two days off work.
“When she told us about the note she was shaking – she's a very gentle and humble lady,” a friend of the woman, Liran Meydat, is reported as saying by the Daily Mail. “She does a lot for charity – both Jewish and non-Jewish - and helps all members of the community, that's why she took it very badly.
“British Jews feel scared to speak out. I'm an Israeli and have lived here for a few years so I don't feel scared. When I heard what had happened it made me think about my grandfather who showed me the number on his arms from the Nazi camp in German-occupied Poland. He lost all his family there.”
Meydat said that police officers immediately responded to the scene after his friend contacted them upon receiving the note on Dec. 22. The package was taken for forensic testing and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
However, Meydat was less complimentary about the initial response from the world’s largest retailer.
“The Met [Metropolitan Police] took it very seriously, we're very happy about how they've handled it,” he said. “The only exception is Amazon. We contacted them on the same day and didn't hear anything back.
“I've now given them hell over it and they are now saying they want to wait for the results to come back from the police.”
Amazon has since responded, dismissing the employee who included the note in the packaging and stating that they have apologized to the customer.
“We take this incident seriously and have apologized to the customer,” a spokesman told the Daily Mirror. “We have investigated the matter and dismissed the individual involved."
Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in the United Kingdom, with 557 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the first six months of 2016, up 11 percent on the same period a year earlier, according to the Jewish charity the Community Security Trust. In response, the U.K. last month became the first country to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.