KFC Apologizes After Telling People to “Treat Yourself” on Kristallnacht

A push notification encouraged app users to indulge in cheesy chicken on the anniversary of the horrid night

Up close shot of crispy Kentucky fried chicken
The Colonel is in a serious time out.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

In perhaps what is one of the craziest headlines we’ve seen in awhile (and that’s really saying something), KFC is under fire for sending a push notification to app users in Germany, inviting them to commemorate the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) with cheesy chicken.

According to the BBC, the message read, in German: “It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!”

Kristallnacht was an onslaught of violence against the Jewish population that took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout the German Reich. Mobs of antisemitic dickheads looted Jewish businesses, destroyed hundreds of synagogues and killed upwards of 91 Jewish people.

An hour after sending the notification, KFC sent another message, reportedly saying, “We are very sorry, we will check our internal processes immediately so that this does not happen again. Please excuse this error.”  

Apparently, KFC uses automatic push notifications that are linked to calendars that include national observances. Germany takes the anniversary of Kristallnacht seriously, as it is widely identified as the beginning of the Holocaust. So in the dumbest automated error of all time, KFC promoted one of the worst nights of all time. The fast food chain profusely apologized, but our appetite for the chicken’s 11 herbs and spices is on hold for now.


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