The Minnesota company HalloweenCostumes.com has removed an Anne Frank costume from its website, saying it never intended to cause any offense.
Complaints came in about the "Anne Frank Costume for Girls," which consisted of a button-up dress, a shoulder bag, and a beret.
Frank was a teenage Holocaust victim who became known around the world when the diary she kept during years of hiding from the Nazis was discovered and published after Frank's death in a concentration camp.
The website's description of the costume called Frank a World War II hero and an inspiration, USA Today says. But many on social media found the costume to be in poor taste.
“There are more appropriate ways to commemorate the legacy of Anne Frank than through a Halloween costume, which is offensive and trivializes her suffering and the suffering of millions during the Holocaust.”
The costume was reportedly taken off the site on Sunday.
Even though it's named after Halloween, a representative of HalloweenCostumes.com said on Twitter Monday the company sells lots of historically accurate costumes that are used during other times of year for things like school plays.
Ross Walker Smith also wrote: "We have passed along the feedback regarding this costume and it has been removed from the website at this time. We apologize for any offense it has caused, as that's never our intention."
About the company
HalloweenCostumes.com says it is the biggest online-only costume retailer in the world.
According to their site, the company started in a Mankato garage in 1992 when the Fallenstein sisters started renting out costumes their mom had made for them over the years.
They soon began designing and sewing more costumes. In 2005 their brother, Tom Fallenstein, took the company online and it now does $75 million a year in sales from a facility still based in Mankato.