Jewish Group Calls for Boycott of Nazi-labeled Wine

'Enough is enough,’ says Simon Wiesenthal Center of Italian wine marketed as 'joke gift.’

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JTA
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on distributors to boycott Lunardelli, an Italian wine company that sells wine labeled with Nazi and fascist slogans, and photos of the movements’ leaders.

“Enough is enough,” said the center’s founder and dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier, and associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, in a statement, saying they first protested the marketing of Lunardelli’s “Führerwein” in 1995.

“Now an expanded line of wines that demean, diminish and mock Hitler’s victims are promoted on a slick website,” they wrote. “We reject the cynical notion by the company’s owner that this wine is marketed as ‘a joke gift.’”

Photos on the wine labels include Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Soviet chief Joseph Stalin and other figures.

Heir and Cooper denounced “the marketing of these products” and urged wine distributors “in Italy and around the world to send the only message the owner of this firm might understand—that they choose not to do any business with someone using the Nazi mass murderer as a blatant marketing tool.”

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.

Today, the company’s website states, about half of its bottled wine is marketed in the Historical Series, with more than 50 different labels, many, if not most, of them dealing with Hitler, Mussolini and Fascism. This, the Lunardelli website states, has made these wines a “cult object among the collectors.”

Screengrab of the Lunardelli website showing the ‘Der Fuhrer’ line of wines.

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