Save Bernd is a humor
website. The premise of the site is that the website's webmaster Chris Krohm, will eat Bernd, a pet rabbit, unless he receives €1,000,000 in donations to care for it.
The website was created in July 2004 in German language as "Rettet Bernd!" and the first link to it was posted on the supporters' messageboard of a German soccer club. An English version of this website was then released in early August of 2004. The website claimed that the owner found Bernd underneath a banana box next to a bottle bank. The webmaster also stated that, unless he received €1,000,000 in
Euros to pay for its care, he would eat the rabbit. The money could be either donated directly, or through purchasing "Save Bernd" merchandise.
The webmaster never attempted to remain anonymous. The main URL on the webmaster's website stated a mobile phone number as well as details of the webmaster's bank account with Llyods TSB, UK.Krohm also stated that 80% of the donations will be given to charity.
The website had its own merchandise webshop and a sponsoring link to earn € 3,500 monthly through a sperm bank.
The original deadline for receiving the money was
December 31 2004. When the deadline passed, it was extended to March 27 2005, claiming that it was due to the extensive pressure from the public. Krohm claims that the final balance on donations and merchandise was € 71,466. A donation list was published by Krohm, too [ [http://www.krohm.net/donation.htm Save Bernd! ] ] .
Public response & legitimacy
The website received media attention especially throughout
Europeas well as in Australia i.e Bernd also featured on Mondo Thingo[ [http://www.abc.net.au/thingo/txt/s1204557.htm Save Bernd the Bunny! (Mondo Thingo: Mondo News, episode 30) ] ] [ [http://blogforfunandprofit.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2005/3/15/436252.html How To Blog For Fun & Profit! :: Off Topic - $50,000 or the Rabbit Dies?! ] ] . The Austrian Press Agencywas first by publishing reports about "Rettet Bernd!" on July 28 2004 and several radio stations and newspapers reported about it. The German TV channel RTL Televisionbroadcasted an interview with Krohm in August 2004.
The webmaster decided to release an English version of the webpage as he received several requests from English speaking internet users. The Irish radio station
FM 104aired a telephone interview with Krohm on August 30 2004 [ [http://www.ferguscassidy.ie/ethos-27-March-2005.html Fergus Cassidy » ETHOS 27 MARCH 2005 ] ] in its The Strawberry Alarm Clockand the number of the website's hits rose quickly to around 2 million page loads by November 2004.The website caused an upset with many animal rightsactivists but the webmaster stated that Bernd would be given to a professional butcher in order to avoid any problems with animal welfare organizations. RSPCA however did contact Llyods TSB in order to if it can refuse payments but Llyods declined to comment due to the customer's confidentiality [ [http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-38877.html The BEST idea ever... [Archive - Unicyclist Community ] ] .
The public prosecutor's office of Vienna confirmed that Krohm's planned action was within the law. [ [http://www.webheimat.at/aktiv/Haustiere/Archiv-Haustiere/Rettet-Bernd.html Rettet Bernd !! | webheimat.at ] ] There were attempts by a group to do a protest march just before the end of the original deadline in December 2004 as well as threats of a German, militant group [ [http://www.rabbit-company.com/html/national/rettetbernd.htm rabbit-company/rettetbernd ] ] .
There has also been questions about whether or not the site was legitimate. Krohm, when asked in radio interviews, claimed that the site was completely serious and he would eat the rabbit and that he actually did receive a number of recepies. The site today claims that "Bernd is gone", but not that he was eaten. Small letters at the bottom of the page make it clear that "It's a joke".
The idea of "Save Bernd!" was copied a number of times by other webmasters in winter 2004 and spring 2005 sometimes even showing the picture of Bernd. The most successful website after Bernd was
Save Tobythat also received media attention primarily in the United States.
* [http://www.krohm.net/paul.htm Rettet Bernd homepage]
* [http://www.krohm.net/bernd.htm Save Bernd homepage]
* [http://www.savetoby.com/ Save Toby homepage]
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