Nazi ties cause firm to drop 'Zyklon' brand

BERLIN — German appliance maker BSH Bosch Siemens has withdrawn U.S. trademark applications containing the word "Zyklon" — cyclone in German — dropped because it was the name of the poison gas used in Nazi death camps, and its use concerned Jewish groups.

"It is an unlucky word — we see that now," spokeswoman Barbara Trost said. "But for us it is a technical word. We do not want to offend anybody, so the application was withdrawn."

The Nazis used the lethal gas Zyklon B in death camps where they killed 6 million Jews, along with millions of others including Soviet POWs, Gypsies, homosexuals, and political opponents.

"It's incomprehensible and I can only imagine it was down to younger people who don't know their history, and I'm happy it has been withdrawn," said Charlotte Knobloch, vice president of Germany's Central Council of Jews. "It just shows how much education is still needed."

The British athletic equipment maker Umbro apologized earlier this year for using the word Zyklon for a line of training shoes.

A World Wide Web search indicated "Zyklon" is also used as the name for a German-made floor sander, a Norwegian heavy metal band, and a roller coaster made since the 1960s by Italian firm Pinfari and in use in five U.S. amusement parks.