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GERMAN HISTORY

KFC apologises for Kristallnacht chicken promotion in Germany

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

KFC in Düsseldorf
Signage over a branch of KFC in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Rolf Vennenbernd

The fast food chain sent a notification on Wednesday suggesting customers “treat themselves” on the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass, the Bild daily reported.

On November 9th, 1938, Nazi mobs torched and ransacked synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses across Germany in what is widely seen as the start of the Third Reich’s drive to wipe out Jews.

At least 91 people are estimated to have died in the violence, while 30,000 were deported and sent to concentration camps and hundreds of businesses were destroyed.

READ ALSO: ‘Everything was changed’: What led to, and followed, Kristallnacht 82 years ago?

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

The notification sparked shock and outrage on social media, with many posting screenshots of the message they had been sent.

“No, I don’t want any soft cheese with my crispy chicken on #9November,” one Twitter user wrote. 

KFC sent another message around an hour later blaming the blunder on “an error in our system”, Bild said.

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

READ ALSO: Germany: what I’ve learned from living in the country from which my family once fled

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ANTI-SEMITISM

Police deployed at German synagogue after bullet holes found

German police staged a major deployment at a synagogue in the western city of Essen on Friday after several bullet holes were found in the adjacent former rabbi's residence.

Police deployed at German synagogue after bullet holes found

Police said “four shots were fired from a loaded weapon” into the exterior of the home next to the city’s Old Synagogue but that no one was injured.

Officers were inspecting the site with sniffer dogs for any explosives.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said he was “shocked by this latest attack on Jewish life in Germany”.

“Anti-Semitism must have no place. It is our duty to protect Jewish life,” he tweeted.

Media reports said the shots were fired overnight and reported on Friday morning. They targeted a glass door at the entryway of the residence and two bullets pierced the glass.

State interior minister Herbert Reul told local media that the alleged assailant, a man, had been captured on a security camera but was still at large.

The incident came three years after a gunman killed two people in the eastern city of Halle after failing to storm a synagogue on Yom Kippur.

Before the attack, he had posted a racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic manifesto online.

Germany in May reported a new record in the number of politically motivated crimes last year, including a nearly 29-percent jump in anti-Semitic crimes to 3,027.

Seven decades after the Holocaust in which the Nazi regime slaughtered six million Jews, the vast majority of the offences — 2,552 — were attributed to the far-right scene.

Essen’s Old Synagogue was built in the early 20th century but its interior was largely destroyed by the Nazis in the November 1938 pogrom.

It underwent a thorough restoration and reopened as an expanded Jewish Culture House for interfaith dialogue in 2010.

READ ALSO: ‘We will fight for our Germany’: Holocaust survivor issues warning to far right

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