On 16th November, a Jewish member of the public contacted Campaign Against Antisemitism after entering Nin Com Soup at Old Street Tube Station in London, only to discover among the smoothies on offer one called “Nutzy”, emblazoned with a swastika.
She told us: “I entered the coffee shop Nin Com Soup in Old Street Tube Station to get a drink. In their fridge they had various smoothies, each with a big number on them to differentiate the flavours. One drink didn’t have a number but a large swastika, and the label said it was called ‘Nutzy’. I went to the staff at the counter to discuss this and they called their manager.
“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.
“I left the shop almost in tears and shivering as it proved to me how much antisemitism and fascism is still utterly present. That man had no shame whatsoever to tell me that I should not be offended by what I saw, when the use of the swastika and the name of that drink is clearly not a coincidence.”
The next day and the day after, Campaign Against Antisemitism sent volunteers from our investigations team to the shop and found that “Nutzy” was still listed, but out of stock. The following Monday, we found that, “Nutzy” was back in stock, but the swastika had bizarrely been replaced with an image of the Pope waving.
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.
Mockery of the Holocaust is not a criminal offence in and of itself, and so our only options were to contact the shop’s landlord, Transport for London, and the media, following which the drink has been removed from sale.