I stumbled upon a pretty good article (complete with a bibliography) about Coca Cola’s relationship with Nazi Germany. A very interesting read.
Sometimes during one of the many reversal of fortune so characteristic for the North African theater of war, German troops on the offensive stumbled across a cache of Coca-Cola left behind by retreating Allied troops. But the welcome find came with a snag and thirsty throats stayed dry despite the heat: The enemy had forgotten to leave some ice as well, and since every German soldier knew that a bottle of Coca-Cola had to be consumed eiskalt, the booty remained worthless unless somebody came up with another method of refrigeration under the scorching African sun.
Luftwaffe-pilots stationed nearby eventually provided an ingenious answer to this let-down by wrapping wet towels around the bottles and tying them to the wings of their Messerschmidts 109F before take off. Once the fighters were airborne, evaporation and the lower temperature of higher altitudes cooled the precious load down. The subsequent scene upon the pilots’ return to base must have been irresistible: The pilots hopped out of their planes, plucked ice- cold Coca-Colas from the wings, opened them and then let the brown juice run down their throats to celebrate the thirsty return from another successful mission.
So much for the commercial potential of this image. Once the vision wears off, however, another question demands an answer. Would anybody have suspected that this harmless war-anecdote exemplifies the Coca-Cola Company’s dual roles during the Second World War? Leaving aside the accidental aspect of this incident in the North African desert, it is still a fact that the soft drinks giant from Atlanta, Georgia collaborated with the Nazi-regime throughout its reign from 1933 to 1945 and sold countless millions of bottled beverages to Hitler’s Germany…
Turns out there is a Coca-Cola Nazi Advertising Challenge where you can attempt to recreate the adverts Coke had in the Nazi era.
There are a number of written descriptions of Coke’s work and there are places on the web that show the type of ads they used. So using the resources we gather and our imaginations we can try and create the ads Coke used.
Secondly, to use photomontage to try and create Coke’s images in Nazi Germany. Basically instead of recreating ads we are looking at placing those ads in situ.