- Alex Benley
- BBC News
Fast food chain KFC has apologized after sending customers in Germany a promotional letter urging them to commemorate the “Night of Broken Glass” by eating chicken with cheese.
“Night of Broken Glass” refers to a series of Nazi-led attacks in Germany in 1938 that killed more than 90 Jews and destroyed Jewish-owned businesses and places of worship.
It is widely seen as the beginning of the Holocaust.
The letter, which was heavily criticized for its lack of common sense, was later blamed on a “mistake in the company’s system”.
The fast-food chain sent out an app alert on Wednesday, saying, “It’s Remembrance Day for the Night of Broken Glass! Treat yourself to more gooey cheese on crispy chicken. Now in Kentucky.”
About an hour later, another message was sent including an apology, according to German newspaper Bild.
“We are very sorry, we will check our internal processes immediately, so this does not happen again. Please forgive this mistake,” the message read.
Germany takes the memory of the Night of Broken Glass on the 9th of November very seriously, with many commemorative events and debates addressing the Nazis’ killing of more than six million Jews.
Daniel Sugarman, the House of Representatives’ director of public affairs for British Jews, called the original Kentucky letter “extremely hideous”.
“How wrong you could be about the Night of Broken Glass, Kentucky Germany? Shame on you!” tweeted Dalia Greenfield, associate director for European affairs at the Jewish NGO Anti-Defamation League.
In a statement issued to Newsweek, Kentucky Corporation in Germany blamed a robot for the message.
The fast-food chain said “automated promotion notifications are linked to calendars that include national celebrations.”
She added that she apologized “sincerely” for the “unplanned, insensitive and unacceptable message”, and said that messages were suspended through the application pending examination.
The company concluded by saying: “We understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and we remain committed to equity, inclusion and belonging to all.”