Es ist die wahre Sache!

I'll admit to harboring a slightly more than cursory interest in the Olympics, but I wouldn't call my quadrennial awareness of the sporting event an obsession. If pushed, for instance, I don't think I could name more than six host cities for the summer Olympics since the first games I watched when I was six years old (let's see: Tokyo, Munich, Montreal, Seoul, Moscow, Los Angeles, Sydney, Atlanta, Athens and Beijing? Close, but no cigar. A Wiki search reveals I got '64—Tokyo—confused with '68—Mexico City—and that I missed Barcelona completely. Still, eight out of ten isn't terrible. Guess I'm a bigger nerd than I thought.)

At any rate, my real fascination with the Olympics is the same one editors of Adweek magazine cite for watching The Superbowl: the commercials. This one is particularly inspirational and chilling at the same time:

Has the soda leviathan really supported the IOC for 80 years? And if so, how much payola did bottlers of The Real Thing give leaders of The Third Reich to sponsor their little soiree in 1936?

That nasty secret probably died with Der Führer in 1945, but one thing I did learn from subsequent Googling is this: Fanta soda was invented by the Nazis.

According to the Innerweb, it's no secret among smarty-pants fascists that Hermann Göring loved Coca Cola—drank it almost every day since the beverage's arrival in Germany in 1929. By 1940, however, trade embargoes and other pre-WW II boondoggling made it impossible for Coca Cola to ship their patented elixir to thirsty Aryan customers. With no soda to sate his thirst, the Luftwaffe leader convinced a Nazi chemist named Maxwell Keith to create a drink even more fantastisch than The Real Thing. Marketing-savvy members of the SS propaganda machine were quick to call their fruit-flavored concoction Fanta, and a star was born.

In 1960, Coca Cola USA bought the Fanta trademark from their German subsidiary and began bottling it in other markets. Interestingly, citizens of Brazil—the same place many Nazi war criminals sought refuge after surrendering to Allied Forces—were first to develop a taste for Hitler's citrus soda.

Were these boys from Brazil just thirsty, or is something more insidious afoot?