Okay. I'm gonna get your money for ya. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you?
May 31, 2006 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Wanna Fanta? Don'tuwanna wanna Fanta? You don't support the Jews do you? Once the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, German Coca-Cola head Max Keith (pronounced Kite) was no longer able to get Coca-Cola syrup and so invented Fanta out of cheese by-products and apple cider for the Nazis. According to Snopes who went with a report prepared by an investigator commissioned by Coca-Cola to examine Max Keith's actions, it was all quite noble. Of course that doesn't address what was happening before the war. But in all fairness that the Coca- Cola only in rare instances directly endorsed the Nazis.
posted by Smedleyman (54 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To be fair, a number of corporations survived WWII.
posted by Mr. Six at 5:47 PM on May 31, 2006

Fanta is vile, overly-sweet stuff!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:56 PM on May 31, 2006

Fanta, Fanta it's a bottle of fun!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:57 PM on May 31, 2006

I had always been indifferent to Fanta until I saw one of their commercials. Now I dislike Fanta, genius marketing angle.
posted by 517 at 6:04 PM on May 31, 2006

...out of cheese by-products and apple cider...

So, laws, sausages and Fanta?
posted by atrazine at 6:06 PM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

Oh yum; cheese and apple cider.

I agree with Uncanny Hengeman, it's quite disgusting stuff - I was surprised at how popular it was when I was in England. Although I guess they're known for loving the ultra-sweet stuff.
posted by Radio7 at 6:06 PM on May 31, 2006

two things come to mind for me:
1. Coke somehow managed to get the US govt to give it all the sugar it needed to make the soda, while Pepsi was rationed
2. True, as noted, other comanies simiarly did biz with thoswe we assumed our enemies. But this is an early example of what was to come--corporate biggies globalized and putting their self-interest aboive nationhood, as is commonplace today.
posted by Postroad at 6:08 PM on May 31, 2006

"Fanta is vile, overly-sweet stuff!"

I only noticed that when I started going to other countries. Not so sweet in Sweden, very sweet in New Zealand and Japan.

Also, only slightly coloured in Sweden, but almost glowing orange in New Zealand.

So it seems to change quite a bit.

But then, so does Diet Coke. Undrinkable in UK, NZ. Quite nice in Japan.
posted by lundman at 6:13 PM on May 31, 2006

Pepsi in Iraq
posted by tellurian at 6:14 PM on May 31, 2006

Drinking FANTA is like having a lovely FANTA-sy of drinking crappy soda
posted by clockzero at 6:18 PM on May 31, 2006

Why pick on Ford? Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and especially BMW were far more closely tied to those Godwin guys.
posted by JekPorkins at 6:20 PM on May 31, 2006

From the last link:
"Next to Standard Oil and I.G. Farben, for instance, Coke's story of peddling soda to opposing trenches appears tame. The immorality of bottling Coca-Cola for the Nazis stands in no relation to STP's selling of aviation fuel to the German war machine, nor can it overshadow the oil- producer's cozy wartime relationship with Germany's chemical giant I.G. Farben. Simply put, Coca-Cola's infamous deeds were not the Second World War's only ones, nor were they particularly sinister. After all, Coke cannot be used to fly airplanes or make bombs....The Coca-Cola Company's tale of questionable wartime conduct would thus be comparatively insignificant and not worth the effort of dwelling upon, were it not for the fact that its product, namely Coca-Cola, was and is a luxuary item whose commercial success is inseparably tied to a public image created through advertising.....What saved the Coca-Cola GmbH from being crushed by Germany's fascist rulers was that its corporate structure and advertising philosophy came naturally close to the Nazis' totalitarian ideas of a brave new world. The case of Coca-Cola thus goes beyond mere collaboration: before Hitler decreed the Principle of Leadership (Fuehreprinzip) in industry, which replaced collective bargaining by handing dictatorial powers to company directors, the Coca-Cola GmbH was already dominated by its own authoritarian leader. Company and government interests subsequently overlapped: the Nazis regarded mass-production and mass-consumption as crucial building blocks of their new society. Coca-Cola's modern means of producing a uniform product could have only impressed them. Similar things can be said about Coke's advertising strategy, which again reflected values central to the National-Socialist society."
posted by Smedleyman at 6:21 PM on May 31, 2006

All I wanted to say is that I remember when they had Fanta Root Beer at 7-Eleven.
posted by evilcolonel at 6:29 PM on May 31, 2006

Fanta birch beer makes a mess when you dump salt into it.
posted by emelenjr at 6:33 PM on May 31, 2006

Wow, didn't know that lundman. I'm guessing Australia has the same stuff as NZ. Seems very "glowing" over here!

Also heard somewhere that chocolate in Australia tastes different to the UK because it's much hotter here - so they have to add something to it to stop it melting/perishing.


Sorry, getting off topic.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:38 PM on May 31, 2006

I would say this is a cool post, but now I've got that goddamned jingle stuck in my head. Thanks, Smedleyman.

No, really, I had no idea about this story. Thanks.
posted by brundlefly at 6:42 PM on May 31, 2006

Behind the main table, a huge banner proclaimed, in German, `Coca-Cola is the world-famous trademark for the unique product of the Coca-Cola GmbH.' Directly below, three gigantic swastikas stood out, black on red. At the main table, Max Keith sat surrounded by his deputies, another swastika draped in front of him.

Hard to believe the savvy marketers and propagandists had no photographs of this.
posted by surplus at 6:45 PM on May 31, 2006

That Pepsi in Iraq link is amazing. Is that real or bootleg stuff?
posted by gubo at 6:54 PM on May 31, 2006

Pepsi... Fanta!? *brain explodes*
posted by loquacious at 6:59 PM on May 31, 2006

Coca - Cola: the thirst quencher for the master race.

So, the potential outcome of WW II was win-win for Coke, eh? That's sound corporate goevrnance for you.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:06 PM on May 31, 2006

governance, even.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:07 PM on May 31, 2006

Why pick on Ford? Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and especially BMW were far more closely tied to those Godwin guys.

I think the salient point was American corporations.

(And that's a weird use of Godwin, no?)
posted by birdie birdington at 7:10 PM on May 31, 2006

IBM and the holocaust
posted by Artw at 7:13 PM on May 31, 2006

I think the salient point was American corporations.

Sure, but supporting the bad guys is supporting the bad guys, regardless of one's citizenship. It's not just that US corporations supporting the Nazis were "supporting our enemies," it's that they were supporting the all-purpose bad guys of 20th century history.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:14 PM on May 31, 2006

The IBM thing is a lot more intresting (I'd read it before).
posted by delmoi at 7:24 PM on May 31, 2006

Don't forget Bush's Grandfather
posted by RufusW at 7:40 PM on May 31, 2006

Aren't US corporations still supporting all the bad guys?

And, hell, the US government has just agreed to help arm both Pakistan and India. Two countries that have not been shy about threatening nukes against one another. I mean, jesus christ on a pogo stick, how fucking stupid is it to give them anything more than pointy sticks?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:57 PM on May 31, 2006

Weird, I just saw a billboard today that told me that 10 out of 10 Fanta drinkers prefer Fanta.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:00 PM on May 31, 2006

So, laws, sausages and Fanta?

Nice one, atrazine!

On two levels. Maybe three.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:09 PM on May 31, 2006

Don'tu I wanna wanna Fanta be sedated!!!

oh, and Bayer aspirin
posted by edgeways at 8:25 PM on May 31, 2006

I like Fanta! I am not ashamed! Fellow Fanta drinkers of the world, will we take this slight sitting down? Hell no! If we drink the sugary pineapple flavored goodness do our teeth not decay? Beware Shasta drinkers becuase they will come after you next!! Who's with me? Let's go...............y'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
posted by ozomatli at 8:48 PM on May 31, 2006

gone to fanta's official website yet? they have step by step instructions on how to convince your incredibly attractive mom to buy fanta, featuring an elaborate marketing scheme... there is a soundclip of a squeeky voice saying "hey mom, buy me fanta!", so moderate your volume accordingly (http://www.fanta.com/askmom.jsp)
posted by wumpus at 9:21 PM on May 31, 2006

It typically has Yellow #6, which I've read has been linked to bladder cancers in laboratory tests
posted by Dogmilk at 10:09 PM on May 31, 2006

KRUPP - Makers of washing machines, coffee makers, and the Nazi gas chambers. from theawfultruth.com

yeah there is more than a few companies still in business after close ties with the nazis. Krupp (along with Bayer, making poison) apparently operated a facility within Auschwitz.
posted by jono at 10:55 PM on May 31, 2006

My day is redeemed by the image of Nazi fighter pilots with scavenged Cokes wrapped in wet towels and strapped to the wings of their planes to cool them in the African sky.
posted by freebird at 12:16 AM on June 1, 2006

Wow. PepsiBlueFilter & Godwin all in the same post. That's fantastic.
*Awaits arrival of ceiling cat*
posted by seanyboy at 12:55 AM on June 1, 2006

Ceiling cat is watching you sell soda to the Nazis.
posted by brundlefly at 1:24 AM on June 1, 2006

Also heard somewhere that chocolate in Australia tastes different to the UK because it's much hotter here - so they have to add something to it to stop it melting/perishing.

International chocolate variations are fascinating, but it's more to do with national/regional tastes for the proportions of cocoa butter, cocoa solids, milk, sugar, &c. than shelf life - a French Mars Bar, for example, is borderline inedible to a British palate. (Which is why, in UK ex-pat heavy areas of France, folk can make a good living importing chocolate bars, as well as the usual HP Sauce, Heinz beans, etc.)

Er, to drag this somewhere near to back on topic - Cadbury-Schweppes had some dirty ties to the old regime in South Africa, and was boycotted in the 80s alongside South African grapes, etc.
posted by jack_mo at 4:18 AM on June 1, 2006

Hey, don't be knocking Fanta! The very word takes me back to my youth in Southeast Asia, where those glowing orange bottles promised cool, sticky refreshment...

That last link ("directly endorsed the Nazis") was a severe disappointment. I waded through all the innuendoes and hand-waving (you know who else liked mass consumption? Hitler!... and "when the cover of a magazine sported a picture of the Fuehrer, chances were good that a Coke advertisement would grace the back of that cover"—how damning!) waiting for that smoking-gun ad that said "Buy Coca-Cola... support the Fuehrer... persecute a Jew today!" But when they finally get around to an ad where "a hand holds out a Coke bottle in front of a world map underlined by the caption Ja" (which, frankly, isn't quite the same), it turns out to be "unfortunately unavailable."

If they had presented the bare facts in a straightforward way, I might have mustered up a little animus towards Coca-Cola GmbH, though it's hard to see what exactly it could have done other than shut up shop (and laid off all the workers) if it wanted to avoid having ads in magazines that featured pictures of Hitler. But their prosecutorial overkill actually made me sympathetic to the defendant.
posted by languagehat at 6:01 AM on June 1, 2006

I'm with you, languagehat. More impressive would have been a web page showing Coke ads featuring Nazi youth, etc.

Seems like there would be nostalgia freaks saving that kind of stuff, the same way Sambo ads got saved.
posted by surplus at 6:09 AM on June 1, 2006

"KRUPP - Makers of washing machines, coffee makers, and the Nazi gas chambers. from theawfultruth.com"

Not true.

"Did Krups, Braun, and Mercedes-Benz make Nazi concentration camp ovens? Did Hitler name the Volkswagen?


Dear Cecil:

In my search for a new coffeemaker, a concerned friend advocated a boycott of both Braun and Krups brands because they were made by German companies that manufactured concentration camp crematoria in the 1930s and 40s. Can this be true? I'm drinking tea pending your reply. Also, did Adolf Hitler really name the Volkswagen? --Yvonne Pelletier, Chicago

Is it true Mercedes-Benz manufactured the ovens used in the Nazi death camps? --Ross, North Hollywood, California

Cecil replies:

Not one of your more light-hearted questions, but what the heck, you ask, we answer. None of the companies mentioned built crematoria, but Daimler-Benz, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, committed other crimes. Testimony at the Nuremburg war crimes trials suggests the ovens were mostly built by heating equipment manufacturers and such. The crematoria at Auschwitz were built by I.A. Topf and Sons of Erfurt, those at Dachau and Lublin by C.H. Kori GmbH. A horrified spokesperson for Braun, a maker of small appliances bought by Gillette in 1967, assures me the firm's main business during the 1940s was electric shavers. Krups mostly made small household products like scales.

How Braun got dragged into this God knows. (Eva Braun?) Krups is probably being confused with the Krupp works, for many years the leading German munitions maker. (You've heard of Big Bertha, the giant cannon used by the Germans during World War I? It was named after Bertha Krupp, the wife of the family-owned firm's patriarch.) Krupp didn't make crematoria either, but it did use 100,000 slave laborers to make weapons at Auschwitz and other death camps. Boss Alfried Krupp was sentenced to 12 years for war crimes but was freed in 1951--cynics say because the Korean War had just broken out and the U.S. needed Krupp's industrial might as a bulwark against the Reds. Its assets restored, Krupp again became a corporate giant and remains so today.

Krupp doesn't make consumer products but other former slave employers do. Daimler-Benz, for example"

Krups is now owned by the French company Groupe SEB.

Maybe theawfultruth.com (The website for Michael Moores's old tv-series) should improve their fact checking?
posted by iviken at 6:19 AM on June 1, 2006

I had always been indifferent to Fanta until I saw one of their commercials. Now I dislike Fanta, genius marketing angle.

posted by Atreides at 6:20 AM on June 1, 2006

Why pick on Ford? Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and especially BMW were far more closely tied to those Godwin guys.
posted by JekPorkins at 6:20 PM PST on May 31


Although I'm shocked you didn't pick on the tags.

But lets keep 'picking' on ford.

Henery Ford's move toward supporting the Nazi regieme appears to be tied to a belief of 'powerful Jewish control' and that somehow said leadership would 'break the powerful Jewish cabal'. Why did he come around to this POV?

How about Rockefeller?

Rockefeller got cash to develop Standard Oil via Rothschild, or so the claim goes. The need to be rid of the useless and explosive part of kerosne ment a thwarting of Ford's plans to help the farmers.

Ford lost money on hemp too. Lo and behold, Henry could find the hand of Standard Oil here on the hemp->methonal idea. I suppose Ford could also blame Hearst for blocking hemp development or DuPont (what with their new sulfuric acid process).
posted by rough ashlar at 7:13 AM on June 1, 2006

You can't say you hate the taste of Fanta until you've tried them all:
Apple (Algeria, USA), Apple Mix (Japan 1980s), Apple Splash (UK), Banana, Banana Split, Berry (US 2002), Birch Beer, Bitter Orange (Italy), Black Cherry (US), Blackcurrant (UAE 2002), Blue Cherry, Blue Rasberry, Blue Vanilla, Blueberry, Blueberry Splash (Thailand 2003), Bubble Gum, Cassis (Blackcurreant The Netherlands), Cherry, Cherry Lemonade, Citrus (Kenya, USA), Clear Cherry, Clear Peach (Japan 2000), Clear Pineapple (Japan 1990s), Club Soda (Japan 2003), Cucumber Melon (Hong Kong), Diet Orange (UK), Draft Root Beer (club soda US 1970s), Duchess Pear (Armenia 2001), Exotic (Armenia 2002), Foliz (Morocco, Tunisia), Fresh Lemon (Germany), Fruit Cocktail (Ghana), Fruit Punch (Japan 1970s), Fruit Twist (UK), Fruity Grapefruit (Japan 2002), Funky Lemon C (Japan 2000), Ginger Ale (US 1960s), Golden Apple (Japan 2002), Golden Grape (Japan 1970s), Green Cream Soda (Thailand ?), Grape, Grapefruit (Japan 1980s), Green Apple (Armenia 2001), Green Melon, Greenapple (Japan 1980s), Greenz (France), Greez (Ireland), Honeydew Melon (Taiwan 2004), Ice Tea (US 1970s), Icy Lemon (UK), J Melon (Thailand), Kiwi Strawberry, Lactic White Grape (Taiwan 2005), Lemon (Nigeria), Lemon Lime (US 1960s), Lemonade, Light Orange (Belgium, UK, Ireland), Lime (Australia 2000), Limette (Germany 1999), Low Calorie Grapefruit (US 1960s), Lominat (Ethiopia 2003), Lychee (Japan 2000 limited edition), Lychee (Thailand), Madness (grape Romania 2002), Mandarin Orange (Germany), Mango (Taiwan late 1990s), Mango Magenta (Thailand), Melon (Japan 1980s), Muscat (Japan 1980s), NeoTrio (Thailand), Orange, Orange, Fanta Free (Nordic region 2004), Passion (Congo), Peach (Japan 1980s, USA), Pine Fruit (Pineapple and Grapefruit Japan 1970s), Pineapple, Pineapple and Grapefruit, Fanta Free (Nordic region 2004), Pink Bubble Gum, Pink Grapefruit (Switzerland), Pink Lemon, Plain Lactic (Hong Kong 2004), Quinine Water (US 1960s), Rasberry (Australia 2000), Red Cream Soda (US 1960s), Red Licorice, Reduced Calorie Wild Cherry, Root Beer (US 1960s), Sappari Ringo (Refreshing Apple Japan 2000 limited edition), Sappari Lychee (Japan 2000 limited edition), Shokata (Romania 2002 - combination of lemon and elderflower), Soda Water (Indonesia), Spider Strawberry (Australia), Squash Punch (Japan 1980s), Starfruit (Hong Kong), Strawberry, Sunny Melon (Germany 2001), Super Sour Apple, Super Sour Cherry, Super Sour Watermelon, Tarhun (Armenia 2001), Toffee (Taiwan early 1990s), Tonic Water (US 1970s), Tropical Berry with Guarana, Fanta Free (Nordic region 2004), Tropical Fruit (Japan 2003), Vanilla, Very Berry Mix (rasberry, blueberry and currant Japan 2000), Very Strawberry, Watermelon, White Cherry, White Grape Lactic (Hong Kong 2004), White Peach (Japan 2002), Wildberries (Germany 2000), Yellow Cherry, Z (UK, Ireland 2005), Zero Orange (US 2005), Zesty Berry (UK)
("Plain Lactic"???)
posted by pracowity at 7:19 AM on June 1, 2006

On the chocolate thing, there was definitely a time when Hershey were working on slower-melting varieties for hotter countries. I think they gave up on taste reasons (Hershey! Ha).

Fanta, though, tastes great in India, and rotten here in the UK. I've never seen a drink that changes recipe so much, apart from Coke in corn syrup countries.
posted by bonaldi at 7:24 AM on June 1, 2006

bonaldi, you can read all about Hershey's high-temperature chocolates here. Circa 1990, I myself had the dubious privilege of sampling a Hershey's Desert Bar. It would not surprise me to learn that it's still floating somewhere around my innards to this day.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:46 AM on June 1, 2006

These women certainly don't look Aryan.

But I wouldn't be surprised to learn that pineapple soda is some kind of secret Nazi plot.
posted by Gamblor at 7:48 AM on June 1, 2006

Aw, how cute, someone just watched The Corporation.
posted by agregoli at 7:48 AM on June 1, 2006

Pepsi in the U.S. and Pepsi in the U.K are different creatures, and of course, then there's the special Pepsi Max.... ugh.
posted by Atreides at 8:29 AM on June 1, 2006

No Spam, Egg, Sausage, and Spam flavor?
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:50 AM on June 1, 2006

semi ot: In Japan i noticed that Coke had totally stolen Fanta's ad campaign, but just with one Hispanic woman and some Scarface-esque Japanese guy (same tropical/beach/pool setting, music and singing, and bikini girls in the background).
posted by amberglow at 9:00 AM on June 1, 2006

Aw, how cute, someone just watched The Corporation.

Actually, I just watched it a couple of days ago. I swear the movie presented the myth as fact ("Coke needed something to sell to Nazis!"). Was I not paying attention, or did they just suck at fact checking?
posted by Sibrax at 12:30 PM on June 1, 2006

“Aw, how cute, someone just watched The Corporation.”

Actually found it through the diggerhistory page on MREs.

Saw the “Coke nearly certainly used forced labor.”
and “Coca Cola in the US have paid into a fund for the compensation of people who were forced to work for the Nazis” - and away we go.

To be fair I have seen The Corporation, which is probably why this rang a bell, but it didn’t really do it for me. Kinda whiny.

(which is why I quoted from Dr. Strangelove not The Corporation, (and I don’t think many people have seen the Coca Cola Kid))
posted by Smedleyman at 12:49 PM on June 1, 2006

Cadbury-Schweppes had some dirty ties to the old regime in South Africa, and was boycotted in the 80s alongside South African grapes, etc.

That's remarkable, considering how much of the chocolate and soda markets in South Africa are now dominated by them. (Not to mention how sweetly delicious the locally available varieties are... Granadilla Twist, I'll be missing you...)

Fanta is still a Coca-Cola product, and today it comes in seventy different flavors

Oooh I sense a challenge.
posted by whatzit at 5:15 AM on June 9, 2006

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