BERLIN (JTA) — A German firm pulled an ad campaign featuring a common slogan used by the Nazis.
The Tschibo coffee company, based in Hamburg, recalled 700 posters featuring the slogan "To each their own" — "Jedem den Seinen" — which it had used to advertise its coffee varieties. The phrase hung over the gate at the Buchenwald concentration camp.
Tschibo and the Esso company, with which it had made the joint ad campaign, both apologized Wednesday, saying they had not intended "to hurt the feelings of those people for whom these words have the worst associations."
The companies were alerted to their faux pas by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. A Tschibo spokeswoman told The Associated Press that she had not heard of any complaints prior to the contact with the Rundschau.
The newspaper cited Salomon Korn, a vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who said the campaign revealed either "an unsurpassed lack of taste" or "total ignorance of history." He added that the phrase, which derives from a 2,000-year-old Latin expression, should not be repeated as long as there are survivors around who will associate it with the concentration camp.
In recent years, several other ad campaigns in Germany featuring the slogan were pulled after protests.