In 1933, right when Hitler and the Nazi Party were assuming power, German-born Max Keith (pronounced “Kite”) took over the company’s German subsidiary, Coca-Cola GmbH. Keith was an imposing figure: tall, intimidating, possessing a little whisk-broom mustache, charming but quick-tempered, and utterly devoted to Coca-Cola. He even valued his allegiance to the drink and to the company more than his allegiance to his own country and the Nazi Party. By 1940, Coca-Cola was the undisputed soft drink king of Germany. According to legend, there’s a photo in the Coke archives of military leader Hermann Göring chugging a bottle of Coca-Cola. Hitler was rumored to enjoy the caffeinated beverage while watching American movies like King Kong and Gone with the Wind. Then, on December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and things all changed for Max Keith. The U.S.’s entrance into World War II meant that American companies had to immediately stop all business activities with the enemy. In addition, the German government was threatening to seize “enemy-owned” businesses. Coca-Cola HQ in Atlanta also cut off communications with Keith in Germany and halted the export of their secret Coca-Cola’s 7X flavoring formula for syrup. So old Max had to come up with another soft drink and fast. Working with his chemists, Keith patched together a recipe within the limitations imposed by wartime rationing. The drink was technically fruit-flavored but was made from the leftovers of other food industries: fruit shavings, apple fibers and pulp, beet sugar, and whey, the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained during cheese production. To name this concoction, Keith told his team to use their imagination. Joe Knipp, a salesman, pitched “Fanta,” shorthand for the German word for “fantasie”..it stuck. Fanta became a point of nationalistic pride and was consumed by the German public, from the Fraus cooking at home to the highest officials of the Nazi party. As the liberating American troops rode into Germany in the summer of 1945, legend has it, they found Keith in a half-bombed plant still bottling Fanta. Production of Fanta ceased before the end of the year. But Max was rewarded for his hard work afterwards and was given command of Coca-Cola Europe. In April 1955, Coca-Cola reintroduced Fanta with a new and better tasting recipe, this time as an orange-flavored drink. It debuted in Italy, before making its way to the United States in 1958 and the rest is history.