Saturday, January 30, 2010

US Holocaust survivors slam Mussolini iPhone app

WASHINGTON — A US-based group of Holocaust survivors condemned an Apple iPhone application featuring speeches by Benito Mussolini, calling it "an insult to the memory of all victims of Nazism and Fascism."

"It is a disgrace and a surrender to crass commercialism that the Apple computing company has approved the release of this 'app' through their online iTunes store," Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement.

"We are protesting to them as their tight regulation and control of release of such apps makes them responsible," she said.

"This is an insult to the memory of all victims of Nazism and Fascism, Jew and non-Jew, and should be condemned for its offense to decency and conscience," Steinberg said.

According to the creator of the application, Luigi Marino, Italians are downloading "iMussolini," which features audio, text and video of his speeches, at a rate of around 1,000 a day.

Marino launched the app last week and it is already reportedly the best-selling application on Italy's online Apple store.

He said he is planning to also develop a version for Apple's new iPad.

Marino, 25, said he developed "iMussolini" as a historical tool, but it has predictably attracted admirers of the fascist wartime dictator.

Some have posted fascist slogans such as "Dux Mea Lux" (The Duce Is My Light) or "Duce! Duce! Duce!" on the application's page at the Apple App Store.

Apple has assured Marino that it would not remove the application from sale but is deleting any offending comments, he told AFP.

The California firm did not return an AFP request for comment.

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