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Coca-Cola and the Nazis

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by drache, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. drache

    drache Member

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    What was Coke's relationship to its German subsidiary during the war - did Coke US profit? Is there any truth to the statement that Coke created Fanta Orange to keep the market open in Nazi germany?
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    "...Coca-Cola's desire was to sell Coke to whoever would drink it, wherever they were, regardless of race, ideology, or system of government; its only objective was to spread of Coca-Cola. This lack of discrimination allowed the product to be more widely disseminated that it would have been had Coke refused to transact business in totalitarian states. A major market for Coca-Cola was Nazi Germany, which had 43 bottling plants and over 600 local distributors by 1939. The product was a favorite of Hitler and the Nazi military, and it was bottled in the Third Reich up to and during World War II; in fact, Nazi aggression actually helped to spread Coke around Europe, as bottlers were established in newly conquered areas such as Austria and the Sudetenland.

    The eventual cessation of Coca-Cola production in Nazi Germany was not a decision of The Coca-Cola Company but of the Berlin government. Max Keith, the leading Coca-Cola bottler in Germany, actually joined the Nazi bureaucracy in order to lobby from within against prohibitions on the import of Coke syrup; he wished to have his Coca-Cola bottling business declared a local industry, so that the government would not restrict the import of the ingredients. Though high officials enjoyed Coke, there were some problems with marketing it in the Third Reich. The official Nazi position was that the fizzy American beverage was "a menace to European civilization." ...After it was publicized that Coca-Cola was kosher, consumption dropped off drastically.

    Still, Keith was able to keep his business alive. Even after the Nazis prohibited the import of essential Coke ingredients (de-cocainized coca leaves and Coke's secret ingredient), Keith stayed in business by inventing and selling Fanta, a fruit drink which continues to be a Coca-Cola product today. Thanks largely to Keith's efforts, Coca-Cola was able to re-establish production Germany virtually immediately after World War II..."\

    http://tafkac.org/products/coca-cola/coke_fanta_nazis.html
     
  3. drache

    drache Member

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    So the war ended with a lot of benefits for he US - V1s, jets .... and Fanta orange! Thanks for the reply PzJgr.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    More Coca Cola info:

    http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-food/coca_cola.htm

    Robert Woodruff made a point of supporting US troops so metal cans were introduced to meet their needs.

    In 1941, when the United States entered the war, Woodruff decided that Coca Cola's place was near the front line.

    He sent an order to

    "See that ever man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca Cola for 5 cents wherever he is and whatever the cost to the company".


    In 1939 Coca Cola only had 5 overseas bottling plants. By 1945, they had 64.

    On the 29th June 1943 General Dwight D Eisenhower ordered three million bottles of Coca Cola to be sent to the allies in North Africa.

    Plant and machinery for down town bottling plants were also sent so another three million bottles could be sent to the troops every six months.

    By the end of the hostilities five billion bottles or cans of Coca Cola had been drunk.
     
  5. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    and

    A descrapancy right there...Hurray for internet....According to Coca-Cola itself:

    "By the time World War II began, Coca-Cola was bottled in 44 countries."

    and

    "During the war 64 bottling plants were set up around the world to supply the troops"

    Oh, and nothing about their liaison with Nazi Germany, of course...

    http://www2.coca-cola.com/ourcompany/historybottling.html
     
  6. drache

    drache Member

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    If we dig deeper ... wasn't there something about IBM punchcards being used to count concentration camp victims?? Sounds like bs - but hey, you never know. ibm and the holocaust
     
  7. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    Thats it - I'm going down to the local convenience staore and buying a bottle. Sieg!
     
  8. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    hehe, who would have thought coke and fanta were both established and expanded by WWII?

    Good to see you back in town Hartmann, it's been a while eh?
     
  9. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    Thanks Otto, its good to be back. Wonderful to see how this BBS has expanded.

    Its funny how you learn things about WW2 every day. Who would have thought Fanta?!? I was under the impression that this soda was released only a few years ago. Just saw an advert for it before watching a movie last week. Interesting.
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Featured on a site mentioned here earlier but interesting stuff, I think.:

    Coca Cola GmbH sought to be associated with the Nazis, it became a bit of a joke that if Hitler or a high ranking Nazi was on the front cover of a magazine Coke would advertise on the back. Coke advertised on billboards that were by the Berlin stadiums, so people attending Goebbel's rallies had to walk past them.

    Coke financially supported the Nazis by advertising within Nazi newspapers, in one instance Coke published responses to accusations from rival bottlers that they were a Jewish company. These denunciations were placed in Nazi rags.

    Coke advertised in the Nazi Army paper shortly after the invasion of Sudetenland, the ad was a picture of a hand holding a bottle of coke over a map of the world, the slogan was "Yes we have got an international reputation."

    Coca Cola goes to war, on BOTH sides.
     
  11. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Did you guys also know that former professional Heavyweight Boxer & former Luftwaffe Fallschirmjager, Max Schmelling, also owned and ran until his fairly recent death; the Coca Cola Bottling Company that was located in Hamburg.
     
  12. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Dig broader & you will find hundreds business connections between the US & Germany in that era, just as with the US and France, or Japan, or China. Until there was actually a war declared between the US & Germany most of these connections were entirely legal, and many US citizens and businessmen saw absolutly nothing wrong with it. I suspect more than one of the isolationist lobbist groups, organizations, or Congressmen with the right attitude were financed by such businessmen.
     
  13. canadiancitizen

    canadiancitizen Member

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    A further area of research might be the connection between the FORD Motor Company and Volkswagon, at the end of the war.

    I seem to remember reading that FORD was thinking about buying the assets of VW, in 1947, but decided not to. If that had taken place, what would the European auto industry look like today ??

    Jim B. Toronto.
     

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