KFC Germany apologizes after accidental Kristallnacht 'treat yourself' message

Calling the mistake "obviously wrong, insensitive and unacceptable," KFC Germany added that they have suspended app communications while investigating the error.

An illuminated sign stands atop a KFC outlet in the Sydney suburb of Villawood April 27, 2012 (photo credit: REUTERS/TIM WIMBORNE)
An illuminated sign stands atop a KFC outlet in the Sydney suburb of Villawood April 27, 2012
(photo credit: REUTERS/TIM WIMBORNE)

KFC Germany has issued an apology after German fried chicken enthusiasts received a notification on their phones from KFC Germany encouraging them to "treat themselves" on Wednesday, as the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom was commemorated.

"Commemoration of the Reichspogromnacht (the German name for Kristallnacht) - Treat yourself to more tender cheese with the crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!" read the push notification sent to customers' phones.

In a statement issued to the Jerusalem Post on Thursday, the fast food chain apologized for the error, explaining that they "use 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."

Calling the mistake "obviously wrong, insensitive and unacceptable," KFC Germany added that they "have suspended app communications while we examine our current process to ensure such an issue does not occur again.

"We understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and remain committed to equity, inclusion and belonging for all.”

 GAZING AT the carnage of  Kristallnacht, November 1938. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) GAZING AT the carnage of Kristallnacht, November 1938. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Dalia Grinfeld, associate director of European affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage at the notification, tweeting "How wrong can you get on Kristallnacht @KFCDeutschland. Shame on you!"

German institutions spark outrage on Kristallnacht

The outrage surrounding the KFC notification comes on the heels of outrage in Israel surrounding a panel planned by Goethe Institut in Tel Aviv comparing the remembrance of the Holocaust to the remembrance of the "Nakba" on Kristallnacht.