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Berlin gripped by family feud over sausages

Call it the battle of the bangers. A family feud over sausage succession rights is adding some spice to Berlin’s summer.

After months of bitter legal wrangling with his mother, Mario Ziervogel opened a fast-food outlet serving Berlin’s famous dish, the currywurst: fried pork sausage sliced up and smothered in ketchup and curry powder.

His shop is just a few blocks away from his family’s restaurant, Konnopke’s Imbiss, one of the city’s most famous eateries because it was the first to introduce the currywurst to then-communist East Berlin in 1960.

Hungry Berliners would queue for up to an hour to buy the spicy sausage in communist times and Konnopke’s remains a popular tourist destination to this day.

Ziervogel’s mother Wal-traud, 76, has sued him for wanting to name his new outlet “Ziervogel’s Cult Curry — since 1960.” Her lawyer Fabian Tietz argued that the son, 48, was not even born in 1960, let alone serving sausages.

The local court ruled recently that Ziervogel could keep the name for his new restaurant, but must drop the year.

“In this regard, Ziervogel was anti-competitive,” Tietz told Reuters. “We are glad that we won.”

The son’s lawyer, Christian Weizberg, also claimed victory, saying the mother had also wanted to prevent him naming his shop Ziervogel’s Cult Curry.

At the court hearing, Waltraud Ziervogel revoked her son’s inheritance rights and said she would hand over the reins of the family business instead to her daughter.

“In the end, it will be for the clients to decide whose currywurst tastes better,” said Weizberg.

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