Denis Foynes – There have been cries for a global ban on Italian winemakers Vini Lunardelli.
The outrage is over their “historical line” of wine that contain labels featuring images of Adolf Hitler and many Nazi slogans.
“The Wiesenthal Centre denounces the marketing of these products and urges 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,” stated Rabbis Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a global Jewish human rights organization.
The company has been making “Hitler wine” since 1995; however, the world only took notice this year after several American tourists complained and sparked the controversy. Despite the dispute the wine is still widely available in the country.
The labels are part of a series that also includes Mussolini, Churchill, and Stalin. Alessandro Lunardelli, who directs the company, defended the labels, saying they were a “joke” and not intended to upset anyone.
The labels have also become a cult among collectors and have been a terrific commercial success, he added.
“I want to reassure our American friends who visit our country that our Constitution and our culture reject racism, anti-Semitism and Nazi fascism,” stated Andrea Riccardi, the Italian integration minister.