The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging wine distributors to boycott Italian wine-makers Vina Lunardelli for selling a line of Nazi and fascist branded wines.
The company has created a cult following featuring labels portraying Adolph Hitler over Nazi slogans, including “Mein Fuehrer,” “Sieg Heil,” and “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer.”
“Enough is enough,” said the center’s Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper in a statement. “We first protested the marketing of ‘Führerwein’ by an Italian-based company in 1995. Now an expanded line of wines that demean, diminish and mock Hitler’s victims are promoted on a slick website.”
According to the company’s website, Vina Lunardelli was founded in 1967. The Historical Series, of which the Nazi bottles are a part, was started in 1995, and is intended to “remind us of the life lives (sic) of celebrated personages of Italian and world political history such as Che Guevera, Churcill (sic), Francesco Guiseppe, Gramsci, Hitler, Marx, Mussolini, Napoleon and Sissi,” the website reads. The family-owned company dedicates half of its production to the controversial line, which now has over 50 different labels.
“We reject the cynical notion by the company’s owner that this wine is marketed as ‘a joke gift’,” declared the Wiesenthal Center. “We agree totally with the sentiments expressed recently by a shocked Norwegian tourist when he found the wine on sale in Rimini, Italy: There can only be two kinds of people who are buying this wine: You have people who actually identify with these kinds of thoughts, and you have young people who haven’t lived through the Second World War, so they think it’s funny, it is almost a joke.”
The Wiesenthal Center called on Italian and international wine distributors to refuse to carry Vina Lunardelli’s products.