Italian winemaker to drop Hitler-themed wines after controversy

After further outrage and backlash over wines featuring images of Adolf Hitler being sold in Italian supermarkets, the Italian winemaker behind the range has announced plans to discontinue the range next year. next.

Vini Lunarelli has been selling its line of “historical” wines for some time, featuring images of dictators like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Francisco Franco.

The Hitler-themed bottles found themselves amidst a backlash again last week, when Austrian doctor Dagmar Millesi told local media that she had seen people going to the resort town of Jesolo ( near Venice) to buy the bottles in a local supermarket.

“The store clerk said Germans really like buying these wines, and they’re clearly the big hit there,” she said. “The saleswoman was even amused by my indignation. . . no one gets mad, no one forbids it. . . I couldn’t believe it.

The wines also prompted the German Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Antisemitism to publish the following answer to Vice News:

“The marketing strategy is disrespectful to all victims of the Nazi regime and their descendants.”

This is certainly not the first time that concerns have been expressed about the range of wines. The Holocaust foundation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has previously urged people to boycott the wines.

And the German government itself has filed complaints against wine, since 1997.

The wine line, which sees bottles featuring phrases such as “Mein Führer”, “Sieg Heil” and “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer” alongside images of Hitler on its labels, would be available in more of 50 stores across Italy, where selling products with fascist imagery is mostly legal.

The Vini Lunarelli winery has argued in the past that wines are not “political”, but rather a method of “remembering” history.

“Unfortunately the most requested label [in the “historical” line] is Hitler – especially by the Germans, but also by many Brits, Nordics, French and Russians,” winemaker Andrea Lunarelli told Vice. “But no Italian wants Hitler.”

He said the winery would drop its entire range of ‘historic’ wine labels next year when he was expected to take over the winery from his father. Lunarelli told Vice that he’s had enough of the controversy the product has fueled over the years and doesn’t like the “historic” line anyway.

Elisha A. Tilghman