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히틀러 등의 얼굴이 들어있는 라벨이 붙은 루너델리 포도주
나찌 문양을 향해 경례하는 히틀러, 히틀러 서명이 있는 것, 히믈러(나찌 친위대장), 괴링(독일 보병장교), 에바 브라운(히틀러의 애인) 등의 라벨이 붙은 포도주를 판매하고 있어 논린이 일고 있다.
'루너델리'라는 상표명인 이 포도주 판매자는 대개의 사람들이 재미삼아 이 포도주를 사서 마시며, 과거는 역사일 뿐이라고 했다. 또한, 과거엔 폭군으로 분명히 보이는 사람들이 존재했지만, 지금은 개성이 없는 더국적 괴물로서 활동하고 있다며, 이런 포도주를 팖으로써 과거의 폭군들이 다시는 되돌아 오지 말아야 한다는 의미도 있다고 했다.
그러나, 유태인 마빈 하이어는 이러한 말에 강력 반발한다 , "이것은 나찌에 대한 경계심을 풀게하려는 것이며 이 포도주를 마시는 사람은 나찌 시절을 그리워 하면서 마시는 것이지 재미삼아 마시는게 아니다"라고 했다.
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From Italy, a Vintage Redolent of Horrors
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
Published: August 25, 2013
COLLOREDO DI PRATO, Italy — Vini Lunardelli is no stranger to controversy. Every year, it seems, usually during the summer, a tourist will happen upon its wines with their outrageous labels and make a fuss that is then picked up by the local — and sometimes national and international — media.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was the latest to object of Vini Lunardelli’s labels.
This year, the fuss picked up some extra heft when it was raised by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Infuriated by wine labels that portray Hitler and sundry members of the Nazi hierarchy, the Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights group called on distributors this month to stop handling Lunardelli wines.
Though Lunardelli has been selling Nazi-themed wines for 20 years, the once-idiosyncratic marketing device is even more intolerable these days, center officials said, with the rising incidence of anti-Semitism in Europe.
“What is the condition of Jewish life in Europe: is it getting better or worse? It’s getting much worse,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Wiesenthal center, citing recent disturbing episodes in France, Greece, Hungary, Eastern Europe and Spain, where earlier this week a banner appeared at a bullfight with the slogan: “Adolf Hitler was right.”
“This is not a time where we can say we defeated anti-Semitism, we are being marginalized,” said Rabbi Hier. “This is not the time to drink wine with Hitler’s image. It’s an insult and the desecration of the memory of the Holocaust.”
But the winemakers believe they are doing nothing wrong.
“It’s history, not propaganda,” Andrea Lunardelli insisted during an interview on a warm August morning in his family’s modest wine cellar where a lone employee was busy attaching labels — Hitler giving the Nazi salute; a portrait of Hitler with his autograph; another portrait with the motto “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” (one people, one nation, one leader) — on bottles waiting to be boxed and shipped.
It is not just Hitler. The company offers about 30 Nazi-themed labels, including glorifying images of Himmler, Göring, Eva Braun and others.
Bottles with labels from what Mr. Lunardelli, the son of the company owner, Alessandro Lunardelli, describes as the “historical line of products” occupied a shelf on a wall. The discriminating buyer could choose among Mussolini, Lenin and Stalin, indicating that when it comes to despots, Lunardelli wines are equal-opportunity merchandizers.
“It’s pretty absurd because Hitler was a teetotaler,” said Mr. Lunardelli, who seems genuinely aggrieved that people might be upset about his wines, but is nonetheless unrepentant.
These products “are a way of not forgetting history and the monsters it produced, ensuring that they never return,” he said. At least the past had identifiable tyrants, he added. “Today’s monsters are faceless multinationals.”
Besides, Mr. Lunardelli said, “most people buy the bottles as a joke.”
But the labels are no laughing matter as far as Rabbi Hier is concerned. “Who does he think his customers are, people having fun?” he asked in a telephone interview from his office in Los Angeles. “People enjoy drinking the wine because it is in sync with their feelings about Jews.”
Anti-Semitism is growing, Rabbi Hie said, and “everywhere you find people inching up to tear down barriers against Nazism.” The wines are yet another example of this. “To me, it’s amazing that he can get away with it.”
To assuage criticisms of promoting fascism or Nazism, over the years, Lunardelli developed a historical and artistic range of products that produced some hits — Sissi, the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, the Mona Lisa — and many misses — Churchill, Napoleon, and even Dracula’s Blood, which all “sold very few bottles,” Mr. Lunardelli said.
Only Che Guevara popped corks when it came to leftist figures. But Mr. Lunardelli was forced to pull the plug after the widow of Alberto Korda, the photographer who took the well-known image of Che wearing a black beret, asked for 20,000 euros (about $27,000) and 15 percent on every bottle sold. “So we sent her all the unused labels,” Mr. Lunardelli said, a little wistfully.
Nazi bottles, he acknowledged, are among the company’s best sellers. “Eighty percent of the sales are Hitler,” he said, or around 20,000 bottles a year, about a quarter of Lunardelli’s total production, which consists mostly of table wines using local variety grapes.