Did you happen to hear the story about KFC Germany’s social media message about a sales promotion tied to Kristallnacht? On the anniversary of Kristallnacht, KFC Germany sent out a notification to its mobile app users that (translated from German) read: “It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!”

While we abhor the way KFC Germany handled this message (through an automated push which was not reviewed internally before being sent), and while we are grateful for KFC Germany’s apology and reconsideration of their communication processes, this incident should cause reflection on the issue of antisemitic messaging and misinformation on social media in general. It should also bring into our focus the manner in which a single post or text can demean and degrade the Holocaust itself and the memories and legacies of those who perished in the Holocaust. 

This KFC Germany story is disturbing, in part because it went viral at a time when other recent incidents promoting antisemitism have gone viral on social media.  These stories will continue to be more normalized and widespread in the public discourse if we don’t act now. 

I hope you will join with The IHRE and its mission of fighting Holocaust denial and antisemitism.

Please share your thoughts and reflections with me about the KFC Germany story.