March 3, 2003
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM DEMANDS THAT PETA STOP EXPLOITING THE HOLOCAUST
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum vigorously condemns PETA’s exploitation of Holocaust imagery, which not only trivializes the Holocaust, but is also a gross insult to its victims and survivors. The Holocaust was a unique historical event, one that defies comparison. The Museum’s legal counsel has demanded that PETA discontinue this deeply offensive misuse of Holocaust materials immediately.
Last week the Museum sent the following letter to PETA President Ingrid Newkirk as an expression of its outrage:
February 28, 2003
Ms. Ingrid Newkirk
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
501 Front Street
Norfolk, Va. 23510
Dear Ms. Newkirk:
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (the Museum) has learned that PETA is using photographs and text obtained from the Museum for PETA’s “Holocaust on Your Plate” project. We demand that you immediately and permanently cease and desist this reprehensible misuse of Holocaust materials.
The Museum’s Photograph Use Agreement, which governs usage of photographic reproductions, states that “The USHMM reserves the right to restrict the uses of reproductions, to request prior review and approval of display formats and/or publication proofs, and to otherwise ensure that reproductions are used with respect and dignity.” Consistent with this provision, this letter constitutes actual notice that PETA is required to immediately remove from PETA’s website any and all photographic images and textual materials obtained from the Museum, and immediately cease using these materials in any pamphlets, public displays, and any other manner.
As America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, we find PETA’s exploitation of these materials a gross perversion of our mission. Furthermore, the use of these materials and citations of the Museum’s name on them improperly and incorrectly implies that the Museum, a Federal government establishment, endorses PETA’s project. Consequently, you are also instructed to immediately and permanently cease from using the Museum’s name on your website and in any other publicly displayed formats or materials.
By close of business Monday, March 3, 2003, please provide me with written confirmation of PETA’s compliance with the terms of this letter.