KFC apologises for Nazi ‘Kristallnacht’ chicken promotion

Fast food restaurant sent a notification to app users suggesting customers ‘treat themselves’ on the anniversary of the 1938 ‘Night of Broken Glass’.

An illuminated sign stands atop a KFC outlet in the Sydney suburb of Villawood April 27, 2012. Fast-food chain KFC has been ordered to pay A$8 million ($8.3 million) in damages to the family of an Australian girl who was left severely brain damaged and in a wheelchair after being poisoned by a chicken meal. Local media reported the girl became seriously ill after eating food from KFC's Villawood outlet. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AUSTRALIA - Tags: CRIME LAW HEALTH FOOD)
KFC apologised for the automated push notification highlighting the Nazi regime's wave of anti-Semitic violence [File: Reuters]

KFC has apologised after sending a notification to German customers encouraging them to commemorate the Kristallnacht anti-Jewish pogrom with fried chicken and cheese.

The fast food chain sent a notification to app users on Wednesday suggesting customers “treat themselves” on the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass”, according to Twitter users who shared images of the message in German.

“Commemoration of Kristallnacht – Treat yourself to more soft cheese and crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!” the message read.

An hour later it was followed by an apology, according to the Bild newspaper.

“We are very sorry. We will check our internal processes immediately so that this does not happen again. Please excuse this error,” it said.

Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, refers to the outbreak of anti-Jewish attacks launched throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9, 1938.

Kristallnacht owes its name to the shards of broken glass that littered the streets in the wake of the violence against Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues by Nazi paramilitaries.

At least 91 Jews were murdered, about 7,500 Jewish businesses ransacked, and some 30,000 Jewish males arrested during the assaults, which presaged the Holocaust in which about six million Jews were killed.

In a statement issued to Newsweek magazine, KFC Germany said the message was an “automated push notification”, and the team used “a semi-automated content creation process linked to calendars that include national observances”.

“In this instance, our internal review process was not properly followed, resulting in a non-approved notification being shared,” KFC said.

The restaurant chain added it “sincerely” apologised for the “unplanned, insensitive and unacceptable message”. Its tech team suspended app communications while the company examines the process.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies