Holocaust Memorial Day
The gates of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim Kuba Ociepa/Reuters

A Russian sauna owner was interviewed by police after using the slogan "Auschwitz ain't got nothin' on us" to advertise his business.

The sauna near Novosibirsk was until recently named Abwehr, the name of the Nazi German military intelligence unit, and carried the slogan on its website.

When challenged about its offensive reference to the death camp, where millions of Jews were murdered, owner Vyacheslav Boyev told local news site NGS.Novosti: "Why do you need to know? Just curious? Do you know what Auschwitz is? What they did there? They burned people, right? And I have a banya that's so hot that it's hotter than it was at Auschwitz."

The site reported that initially authorities were indifferent when the slogan was brought to their attention.

Russian media expert Alex Tenzer told Israeli news portal Arutz Sheva he was shocked at "how low people will stoop for publicity." He criticised local authorities for failing to take action and claimed that "there are enough laws in Russia against Nazi propoganda to deal with such cases harshly and even to close the place down or place a fine on the owner."

Tenzer added that he himself was from a family of Holocaust survivors and his wife's father lost his entire family in the Auschwitz death camp.

Boyev has renamed the business and removed the slogan. Russian tabloid LifeNews reported that the man had been interviewed by police.

"I ordered the website three months ago and nobody cared about the slogan, but today journalists have been calling me all day long," Boyev told the news site Takie Dela. "A programmer, a young guy, suggested the analogy that our banya is so warm and hot that 'Auschwitz ain't got nothin' on us.' I said okay, without thinking about it."