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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Hitler wine sales soaring

Ananova: Christmas sales of Adolf Hitler wine have reached a record high thanks to publicity generated by attempts to ban it in both Brussels and Berlin.

Wine-grower Alessandro Lunardelli started selling the bottles of Hitler wine in 1995 after the success of his Mussolini label back home in Italy.

He has already made a fortune but says this Christmas sales have "gone through the roof" thanks to the interest generated by publicity over attempts to ban his wine.

"Getting sued was the best thing that could have happened," Lunardelli said in a telephone interview from his company's headquarters near Udine on Italy's border with Austria.

Lunardelli was also sued in Italy over his Mussolini wine but escaped fines and jail because authorities said it could not be proven he was promoting fascism.

His Hitler wine has caused a similar row, with Germany asking Italy to act to stop Lunardelli. He said the publicity helped him reach thousands of new customers across Europe.

The Hitler wine is on the market with the slogan "One People, One Empire, One Leader" and has variations with pictures of Rommel and Goering.

Lunardelli rejects any allegations that he is promoting fascism and Nazism and points out he also offers bottles with pictures of Marx, Stalin, Lenin and Che Guevara.

"It's strange that Stalin murdered 15 million people, but there is no fuss about the bottle. And for the labels with Hitler and Mussolini I ended up in court," said 41-year-old Lunardelli.