Fast Food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has apologized after sending notifications to Germans calling on them to remember the Nazi pogroms against Jews known as Kristallnacht by ordering their chicken.
The notification occurred on November 9th on the fast food chain’s mobile phone app and called on customers to remember the Reichspogromnacht, also known as Kristallnacht or the ‘Night of Broken Glass’, by ordering food from the company on the anniversary Nazi attacks on Jewish businesses and Synagogues.
“Remembrance Day of the Reichspogromnacht. Treat yourself to more tender cheese with crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!” the notification stated, German magazine Stern reports.
The notification soon went viral on German-speaking social media, with many expressing outrage and criticism of the company for using the Nazi persecution of Jews in 1938 to sell chicken.
“Can it be even more tasteless? I’m uninstalling the app now, it’s going too far and inexcusable,” one user wrote.
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According to the Holocaust Museum, 91 deaths were officially recorded, however, more recent estimates have claimed that the number was most likely much higher, particularly when counting those who died from injuries in the aftermath and those who took their own lives. The night, which saw Jewish businesses and synogagues destroyed and some 30,000 people sent to concentration camps, is widely seen as a prelude to the implementation of Nazi Germany’s genocide against the Jewish people.
KFC, meanwhile, blamed an automated system for the notification and apologized to customers saying,
“Today (9 November) an automated push notification was sent to the users of the KFC app in Germany, which contained an insensitive and unacceptable message. We apologize for that.”
“In this particular case, our internal review process was not properly followed. As a result, this unauthorized message was accidentally spread. As a result, we immediately stopped app communication,” the company added.
“We emphasize that it was in no way our intention to trivialize the seriousness and historical significance of Kristallnacht or to hurt victims or their descendants. KFC is permanently and actively committed to equality, inclusion and participation of all people,” KFC said.
The bizarre notification from the fast food giant comes as anti-Semitism in Germany and elsewhere in Europe has seen a surge in recent years, with a 2018 report claiming that Jewish communities were experiencing levels of anti-Semitism not seen since the Second World War.