Wine companies usually try to make their labels interesting so that they stand out and grab your attention. Putting a picture of WWII-era German dictator Adolf Hitler on just about anything is bound to get some attention, and that’s exactly what an Italian wine company thought
In what amounts to the most offensive wine labeling of all time (also potentially the smartest publicity stunt of all time), an Italian wine company called Vini Lundardelli, located in Udine, Italy, sells bottles of wine bearing the pictures of Adolf Hitler and other Nazi Germany big wigs on their labels, reports Delish. They call the line of wines “Linea Storia,” (“the line of history” for the Italian-impaired), which is probably the most politically-correct strategy to get a picture of Hitler on anything that we’ve ever heard of.
The purpose of this historical line (via Lundardelli’s website) is to remind us “of the lives of celebrated personages of Italian and world political history such and Che Guevara, Churcill, Francesco Giuseppe, Gramsci, Hitler, Marx, Mussolini, Napoleon, and Sissi.”
Things unraveled after an American lawyer traveling abroad with his wife caught a glimpse of Hitler’s mug on the bottle. Matthew Hirsch claims that a number of his family members died in Auschwitz, while his wife’s father survived the mass genocide. Understandably, they were horrified to see Hitler Nazi-saluting them through a store window with “Mein Kampf,” emblazoned beneath him.
“It makes you wonder about the sympathies of the local people,” said Hirsch.
“It is an affront to humanity as a whole,” his wife Cindy added.
A store employee insisted to the Hirsch couple that the bottles must remain to serve as reminders “to the sons and daughters of those who had carried out these actions,” reports the NJNewsRoom.
Italian government officials wasted no time launching an investigation, with Andrea Riccardi, the Italian integration minister saying, “I want to reassure our American friends that our Constitution and our culture rejects racism, anti-Semitism and Nazi fascism. This offends the memory of millions and risks compromising the image of Italy abroad.”
The winemaker’s website states that the historical line has proven quite popular, becoming something of a “cult object” among collectors. Maybe people are buying the Hitler wine out of morbid curiosity. I don’t know. So I turn to you, the smartest people I know. Would you buy a bottle of Fuhrerwein? Why or why not?