A Jewish patron found Nazi-themed smoothies for sale at Nincomsoup in London and was deeply offended.
The woman discovered that Nincomsoup, a cafe which sells soup, juice, and coffee, was selling an almond and peanut butter smoothie called the "Nutzy," with a swastika printed on the label.
According to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), the woman asked to speak to someone and was directed to the manager, who seemingly tried to pass the gesture off as coincidental and open to interpretation.
"He explained that it was an inverted swastika which was a Hindu symbol of health and prosperity, which is indeed right but the swastika was not inverted, and the Hindu sign includes dots within the symbol. When I asked about the name of the drink, he said it was a play on ‘having the nuts’, meaning ‘having the courage’ and was a pun as the drink contains nuts. I told him how offensive that was for certain people. He asked why I would find that so offensive, to which I responded that I lost my family to the Nazi regime and that despite the Hindu use of the symbol, this along with the name of the drink was extremely offensive. He said that London is a free city."
The CAA investigated the claim and found that the item was still listed, but it was out of stock. The next day, the smoothie was back in stock, but the image had inexplicably been changed from a swastika to a picture of the Pope waving.
The CAA responded to the staff's claims of ignorance with incredulity.
"It beggars belief that this shop created a Nazi-branded drink by unwitting coincidence. The Nazis murdered six million Jewish men, women and children during the Second World War as well as almost half a million people from Britain alone in the most devastating war and genocide ever committed. It was unavoidable that this would be immensely offensive to Jewish people and anyone who lost members of their family to Nazi brutality."
Nincomsoup's founder, Ben Page-Phillips, posted a notice to the website on Nov. 27, apologizing for the "unsanctioned" incident and assuring customers that the person responsible—a "rogue employee"— had been fired.
"This was incomprehensible, extremely insensitive, and upsetting to all of us," said Page-Phillips. "We unreservedly apologize."
It just goes to show that speaking out and speaking up is even more important in the wake of Brexit, Donald Trump's election, and all of the other forms of fascism and xenophobia that are cropping up around the world. All it can take to make a positive change is just one person standing up for what's right.
Banner Image Credit: Screengrab, CAA