Fanta macht frei

Just as I mention Hyperzenchef slugging Fanta, something comes back to me about that brand of soft drink. Wasn’t it to do with the Nazis? That’s right, I remember now. As I understand this, Coke had a subsidiary in Germany – Coca-Cola Gmbh – which, inter alia, sponsored Hitler’s 1936 Olympics, where Hitler demonstrated Aryan superiority to the world (or would have if it hadn’t been for a black athlete by the name of Jesse Owens).

Coke advertised in the German Army paper and, after the invasion of the Sudetenland, ran an ad showing a hand holding a bottle of coke over a map of the world. The slogan was “Yes we have an international reputation.” Coke opened a factory in the Sudetenland soon after the invasion, and during the course of the war almost certainly used forced labour supplied by the Nazi regime. In consequence, Coca Cola in the US have paid into a fund for the compensation of people who were forced to work for the Nazis.

However, after America entered the war in 1941, Coca-Cola Gmbh were unable to get the Coke syrup from the States and instead cobbled together a different kind of drink, which they called Fanta, and which was made from the by-products of other food industries. Ultimately it was just more sugared water the same as Coke and no doubt contributed in the very same way to obesity and dental decay. So in some ways, you could say it was part of the war effort against Nazi Germany.

This story is more a curiosity than anything else. Fanta didn’t have a direct role in the Holocaust in the same way that IBM did, and maybe I’ll bring you details of that nasty little story another day.

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