Italian mayor says hands tied in fighting ‘joke gift’ Hitler wine products
search

Italian mayor says hands tied in fighting ‘joke gift’ Hitler wine products

Anti-fascist group complains over sale of bottles featuring photos of dictators at local shop, but authorities say they can do nothing without national legislation

A picture taken on September 14, 2017 shows bottles of wine with pictures of Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin at a shop in the center of Rome. (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)
A picture taken on September 14, 2017 shows bottles of wine with pictures of Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin at a shop in the center of Rome. (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)

An Italian anti-fascist group has filed a complaint with police and local authorities in the city of Rimini after wine and beer bottles featuring pictures of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and other dictators were photographed in a local shop.

The sale of alcoholic beverages in Italy featuring dictators’ mugs has made headlines in the past.

Winemaker Vini Lunardelli has created a cult following featuring labels that also include Stalin, Napoleon and Franco. Wines in the Hitlet collection include Nazi slogans such as “Mein Führer,” “Sieg Heil,” and “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer.”

The company has insisted the products are a joke gift.

Rimini Mayor Andrea Gnassi said his hands were tied in addressing the problem, and that attempts to press for national legislation against fascist products had so far been unsuccesful.

“We receive reports like this at least five to six times a year,” Gnassi said. “As long as a new law is not approved, all attempts at [action by the municipality] can achieve nothing.”

He explained that municipalities that tried to intervene directly, without a broader regulatory framework, were chastised by courts, who ruled in favor of traders.

In 2013 the Simon Wiesenthal Center called for a boycott of Vini Lunardelli.

Lunardelli, which was founded in 1967, started labeling wine with pictures of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Che Guevara and others in 1995 as part of what it calls a “Historical Series,” and there have been periodic protests over such labeling.

According to the company’s website, approximately half of its bottled wine is now marketed in the Historical Series, with more than 50 labels — many if not most of them dealing with Hitler, Mussolini and fascism.

The Lunardelli website says the wines are a “cult object among the collectors.”

JTA contributed to this report.

read more:
comments