Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

KFC Germany apologizes for ‘treat yourself’ chicken promotion tied to Kristallnacht

‘It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken,’ KFC Germany said in a message to customers.

(JTA) — The German branch of international fast-food chain KFC apologized to customers Wednesday for sending out a promotional message tied to the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the evening of Nazi-led antisemitic riots that precipitated the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust.

“It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken,” KFC Germany said in an initial push notification message to customers, in German, advertising its “KFCheese.” 

A short time after, the chain sent a follow-up in all-caps: “SORRY WE MADE A MISTAKE.” The company blamed the message on “a bug in our system.”

Germany takes the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass,” seriously, even though Germans do not call the event by that name. Memorial events and discussions take place nationwide each year on Nov. 9-10 to reflect on Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews.

Reaction to KFC’s “mistake” came swiftly. Daniel Sugarman, director of public affairs for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, tweeted that the promotion was “absolutely hideous.” Arsen Ostrovsky, head of the pro-Israel legal group International Legal Forum, said he was “utterly speechless and repulsed.”

Meanwhile, another German institution came under fire for a Kristallnacht controversy this year. Goethe-Institut Israel, the Israeli location of the German language and cultural center, rescheduled a planned panel discussion on “the Holocaust, Nakba and German Remembrance Culture” that had been set to take place on the anniversary of the violence. The “Nakba” is the common Palestinian term for the mass displacement and deaths that accompanied the State of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry had criticized the Goethe-Institut for linking the Holocaust to the founding of the State of Israel on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, calling it “the blatant cheapening of Holocaust and the cynical and manipulative attempt to create a linkage whose entire purpose is to defame Israel.”

This article originally appeared on JTA.org.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.