The Ravensburger company has withdrawn Winnetou books from sale after allegations of racism. There had previously been criticism on Instagram – which has now flared up with new allegations against Ravensburger.
Even after the decision to take several children’s books out of sale due to allegations of racism, the Ravensburger company faces a great deal of criticism. Hundreds of users of the social media platform Instagram expressed their incomprehension about the decision and accused the company of censorship or giving in to criticism. There was also support for the decision.
The Ravensburg-based company, known primarily for its games and puzzles, announced in mid-August that it would stop the delivery of the two books “The Young Chief Winnetou” for the film of the same name and remove them from the program. In an Instagram post, the company justified this with user feedback that showed “that we hurt the feelings of others with the Winnetou titles”.
A spokesman for Ravensburger said on Monday that the decision to remove the titles for the film “The Young Chief Winnetou” from the program had been carefully considered. “For a long time we have represented values in our company and with our products that we believe in: community and education, which also include fairness and openness towards other cultures, and we want to present these in our program in a balanced way.”
The publisher does not want to repeat trivializing clichés
In the case of the Winnetou titles mentioned, after weighing various arguments, one came to the conclusion that, in view of the historical reality, the oppression of the indigenous population, a “romanticizing picture with many clichés” was being drawn here. “Even if it is a classic narrative that has excited many people: The material is far removed from how the indigenous population actually fared.”
Against this background, the publishers do not want to repeat and spread trivializing clichés, even if they value the basic idea of friendship – as is the case with Winnetou. In addition to the two books, a puzzle and a sticker book for the film have also been removed from the program.
Criticism initially erupted in the film adaptation of the same name, because the film served racist prejudices and used a colonial narrative style. The film hit theaters on August 11th. (dpa)