Sunday, 5 September 2021

Style Nazis

Actual real Nazis. Not just people I disagree with. Ones with swastika armbands and NSDAP membership cards.

Because in the countries occupied by the Nazis, they really did start interfering with style names. They weren't happy with German-derived names being used for Dutch beer. In particular, Dortmunder.

Mr Stikker says that the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft requires the Phoenix brewery to stop using the name "Dortmunder". The Phoenix brewery has asked the C.B.K. to take up this matter with the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft.

The C.B.K. has, however, advised the Phoenix to send to the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft a copy of the judgment concerning the procedure, which was won in 1928 on this matter. The C.B.K. thought it desirable not to come to the fore in this matter at this time.

The board agrees with this state of affairs.
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 10th December 1940, held at the Amsterdam City Archives, document number 31121-1, pages 287-288.

Basically, the CBK (the Dutch brewers' organisation) wanted to keep its head down. Probably not a bad idea given the nutcases they had to deal with.

Intermediate beer was something between Lagerbier and heavy beer strength. At this point, 8.8º to 9.1º Plato.

Mr. Ivens says that four breweries have applied for the above-mentioned dispensation for beer in the intermediate category. In view of the possibility of action against German beer names, it is desirable to reserve the name Dortmunder for beer of a higher quality.

Mr. Smits van Waesberghe sees the merits of this, but nevertheless points to the commercial objections that arise from this for the breweries concerned.

After some discussion, the board decides that the dispensation for the name Dortmunder for intermediate beer will only be granted to those breweries that until now regularly sold such beer under that name, which dispensation will expire on July 1, 1941.
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 21st January 1941, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 271. 

OK to call your beer Dortmunder, then, but only for a few more months. That's very generous of the occupiers.

In Belgium, it went even further, banning even more style names.

"Mr Stikker says that it has recently been forbidden in Belgium to give a Belgian beer names that indicate a foreign origin, such as "Pilsen", "Baviere", "Munich", "Dortmund"."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 297.

Didn't they have more important things to worry about than beer names? Like that war they were busy losing.


Lars Marius Garshol said...

Kind of a weird attitude: through these names the Dutch and Belgians were showing that they were influenced by German culture. So the Nazis were wiping out names that were essentially acts of homage to Germany.

Even if this stuff had mattered that seems like a really counter-productive thing to do.

Ron Pattinson said...

Lars Marius Garshol,

counterproductive was the Nazi's middle name.

Anonymous said...

"counterproductive was the Nazi's middle name."

This is a great post.

There really isn't enough written about how much the craziness undercut what they were trying to do. It scales all the way up to the Anti-Semitic core, but it's everywhere once you start looking.

The big source of their early success was facing leaders who were utterly in denial about how far they would go.

Korev said...

Best title for a post for a while.