BUSINESS

BNP Paribas' Hitler Reference In Training Video Offends Employees, Prompts Apology

12/28/2012 03:39 pm ET

One bank is in hot water with some of its employees after they were reportedly shown a video depicting a rival bank’s CEO as Hitler.

About 100 managers at BNP Paribas were shown a video featuring a parody of a scene from the 2004 German movie “Downfall” that transformed the Hitler character into the head of BNP's German rival Deutsche Bank, France 24 reports.

BNP Paribas didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Huffington Post. A spokeswoman told France 24 that the company's CEO called Deutsche Bank’s chief to apologize and that senior management was unaware of the video until a news outlet brought it to their attention. In addition, the executive responsible for the video no longer works at the bank, the spokeswoman told France 24, but she wouldn’t say if the executive had stepped down or was fired.

Of course BNP Paribas isn’t the first business to face controversy over invoking the terrible dictator. A clothing store in India recently sparked outrage after it opened in August under the name Hitler and featured a swastika in its logo. Companies ranging from shampoo-makers to gyms have used Hitler as a marketing gimmick, much to the ire of critics.

The video is particularly awkward given that Deutsche Bank has gone to great lengths to confront darker points in its past. The bank was the first German business to open its archives to independent historians, according to 1995 report in The New York Times. And in a transparent move, Deutsche Bank acknowledged it helped Hitler between 1933 and 1945 as part of a company-commissioned project chronicling the bank’s history.

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