'Kristallnacht' ad for German health spa sparks outrage

Ad on website invited clients to enjoy a "long romantic Kristallnacht"; gaffe may have been due to mix-up with spa's name.

WEBSITE’S ‘Kristallnacht’ special for November 9 370 (photo credit: Screenshot)
WEBSITE’S ‘Kristallnacht’ special for November 9 370
(photo credit: Screenshot)
BERLIN – A health spa triggered controversy with an advertisement on its website to enjoy a “long romantic Kristallnacht,” ahead of this week’s anniversary of the night Nazi forces burned synagogues and murdered Jews across Germany in 1938.
The health spa, Kristall Sauna-Wellnesspark mit Soletherme, is located in Bad Klosterlausnitz in the eastern German state of Thuringia.
Critics lampooned and expressed outrage over the spas’ advertisement on Twitter and in blogs. One blog entry wrote “I kid you not” and linked to the advertisement.
A Twitter message said, “Unbelievable: Thüringen spa advertises ‘long romantic Kristallnacht’ celebrations on atrocity’s 75th anniv.”
The November pogrom in 1938 has become known as Kristallnacht to symbolize the broken glass of Jewish businesses destroyed. It is unclear if the company intentionally used a wordplay from its business name to lure customers on November 9 to its wellness spa.
An employee from the Kristall Sauna-Wellnesspark told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that the advertisement was a “misunderstanding and refers to the name of the firm.” She declined to be identified.
Top-level management representatives from the spa were not reachable for Post interviews.
The employee said, “we apologized for the mistake and there was nothing political” with respect to the advertisement. The advertisement was online as of Sunday and was apparently removed on Monday. An apology appeared on the website on Monday, stating “we are ourselves ashamed of the mistake” with the name Kristall inserted as part of Kristallnacht in the advertisement.
The original advertisement read “The long romantic Kristall-Nacht: Enjoy the evening hours in romantic candle light and relax.”
This year’s November 9 remembrance events will mark the 75-year commemoration of the wave of violence directed at Jewish business and German Jews. Germans attacked Jews over several days, which resulted in the burning of 1,400 synagogues, 400 dead and scores of Jews sent to concentration camps.