18. Jägermeister was named in honor of Herman Göring, the Third Reich’s “Hunt Master”, and colloquially called “Göring-Schnaps” in Nazi Germany
Whilst it is common knowledge that Hugo Boss built his fashion empire off the back of Nazi military contracts and slave labor, less known is that popular alcoholic liqueur Jägermeister was also created by the Nazis. Composed of 56 herbs, fruits, roots and spices, Jägermeister was invented in 1934 by Curt and William Mast and introduced to German markets from 1935 as a digestif. Curt, politically active from youth, joined the NSDAP (Nazi Party) in May 1933, just three months after the Nazi seizure of power; despite successfully underplaying and even denying his Nazi affiliations post-war, he remained a committed member throughout the 1930s and 1940s, even describing himself in 1944 as a “party comrade”.
Initially working with his brother after taking over the family business in 1934, collaboratively creating a half-bitter liqueur with the name “Hubertusbitter”, in 1935 Curt forced his brother to flee to South America with his Jewish lover and renamed the beverage “Jägermeister“; Curt Mast also exploited the sufferings of other Jewish residents of Germany, unscrupulously purchasing real estate throughout the 1940s from lands confiscated by the Reich. The name Jägermeister, deriving from the traditional German title of “Hunt Master” and referring to the state official responsible for hunting, was selected in honor of prominent Nazi Herman Göring who had been appointed Reichsjägermeister in 1934. Göring, who enjoyed hunting in the forests near Mast’s home, was unquestionably consulted on the choice of name and the drink became an instant favorite among the military due to its association with the popular Reichsmarschall, becoming affectionately known as “Göring-Schnaps” during the 1930s and 1940s.