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Italian prosecutors probe sale of Hitler-label wine

U.S. tourists report supermarket

08 August, 16:33
Italian prosecutors probe sale of Hitler-label wine (ANSA) - Verona, August 8 - Italian prosecutors have opened a probe into the sale of wine featuring Adolf Hitler on the label in the northern Italian town of Garda after two Jewish tourists from the United States reported a supermarket for stocking it.

"The only crime that could be currently attributable to this is that of apologising for fascism,"prosecutor Mario Giulio Schinaia told Ansa. "At this point though it would be opportune to invent the crime of human stupidity".

Italy made apologising for fascism a crime in 1952.

The US couple discovered the wine bottles with Hitler in various poses on the label, including one manipulated image in which he was in the company of Pope John Paul II.

Philadelphia lawyer Matthew Hirsch first noticed the bottles when he was purchasing water, wine and fruit at the shop. His wife Cindy's father is an Auschwitz survivor, and her aunt, grandparents, and other family members died there. "I was shocked," said Cindy Hirsch. "It is not only an affront to Jews, even if my husband and I are Jewish. It is an affront to humanity as a whole".

When questioned about the wine, the supermarket owner told the couple that the bottles were part of history, "like Che Guevara". He said that whilst he did not sell much, he kept them there as a warning "to the sons and daughters of those that had carried out these actions, so they could remember what had been done".

The local mayor has said he would take action to ensure the bottles were removed from shelves and prosecutors said they are considering confiscating them.

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