Hitler labels still infuriating Germany

Hitler labels still infuriating Germany News Wine News
  • Friday 5 September 2003

Germany is fighting a six-year battle to stop an Italian winery producing 'contemptible and tasteless' bottles labelled with images of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and other infamous characters.

Friuli producer Alessandro Lunardelli has been selling his 'Historical' series of wines since 1997 – despite frequent protests from the German government, where it is illegal to reproduce Nazi images.

The series features the so-called 'Fuehrerwein' bottles whose labels (pictured) carry images of Hitler, a young Eva Braun, and other Nazis. Other labels in the series feature Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Stalin, and Che Guevara. The Hitler labels have the words 'Sieg Heil' and other Nazi slogans.

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries recently complained to her Italian counterpart that the labels were 'contemptible and tasteless' and asked him to see what could be done to stop their production, spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said.

Lunardelli refuses to discontinue the line, which he says has been 'a great marketing success'. The wine is available legally in Italy.

Zypries, in her letter to Italian Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, said she hoped Italy, as part of the European Union, would act to fight racism and xenophobia.

Bavaria state said it was opening an investigation to see if any of the bottles had crossed the Italian border into southern Germany.

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