The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Retailer apologizes after Hitler and Mussolini coffee creamers invade Swiss restaurants

Placeholder while article actions load

Swiss retailer Migros apologized for an "unforgivable blunder" this week after surprised coffee drinkers in Switzerland spotted the mugs of Hitler and Mussolini on the company's dairy creamer packets.

The dictator-emblazoned containers "should never have been delivered" to restaurants, the company said in a statement posted Wednesday on its Web site.

As the New York Times explains, the tops of the single-serving creamer packets are often decorated with collectible images in Switzerland, and people collect them like they do stamps.

Usually, those decorations depict celebrities, landscapes or other well-liked, non-controversial images -- but definitely not former dictators of neighboring countries.

That's especially considering that Switzerland continues to contend with long-standing accusations that the country's notoriously close-lipped banking system helped Nazi party members keep their fortunes during and after World War II.

The questionable creamer tops were spotted by a customer in a Baden train station who sent an image to the German-language Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes.

According to Migros, which owns a chain of supermarkets and restaurants in Switzerland, the tops were supplied by the company Karo-Versand, with which Migros has since severed business ties.

Karo top executive Peter Waelchli told Swiss reporters that the images were "unproblematic" and part of a series of container tops featuring old cigar brands, Reuters reported.

Waelchli also told McClatchy: "Of course it was bad, what happened under Hitler, but you cannot ignore this part of history. . . . I have no problem with the images, but I can understand it concerns certain people.”

Loading...