Friday, Jun 5 2020 | Time 15:16 Hrs(IST)
  • COVID-19: 2 Kangra families come out unscathed
  • High Court to announce judgement on disqualification of MLAs on June 8
  • UNADAP appoints Madurai salon owner's daughter as 'Goodwill Ambassador to the Poor'
  • UNADAP appoints Madurai salon owner's daughter as 'Goodwill Ambassador to the Poor'
  • Op Kalakote: Terrorist killed, Pak-made mine, ammunition seized
  • COVID-19: Second patient recovers after plasma therapy in K'taka
  • Brazilian club Ceara report 17 positive coronavirus cases
  • Another setback to Congress before Gujarat RS polls, third MLA resigns
  • Locust species found in Dakshina Kannada not harmful: Experts
  • Railways is committed to providing world class facilities to its passengers
  • Rare white Albino Python spotted at K'taka's Kavalakatte
  • Quarantined govt employee dies in UP's Etah
  • Bodies of two employees found in hotel's water tank in Thane
  • Under-trial, grocer with no travel history test COVID 19 positive in Guwahati
  • Mah: Hingoli reports six new COVID-19 cases
World


Biscuit heiress apologises over Nazi-era labour comments

Biscuit heiress apologises over Nazi-era labour comments

Berlin, May 16 (UNI) The heiress of a German biscuit company has apologised for saying the firm "did nothing wrong" in its use of forced labour during Nazi rule.

Verena Bahlsen, 25, had been accused of being "oblivious to history" and the company had distanced itself from her comments, said a BBC News report.

But after the backlash she admitted her remarks were inappropriate. "It was a mistake to amplify this debate with thoughtless responses," Ms Bahlsen said in a statement.

Bahlsen, which makes Choco Leibniz biscuits, employed about 200 forced labourers between 1943 and 1945 - most of whom were women from Nazi-occupied Ukraine.

The controversy started last week, when Ms Bahlsen told delegates at a marketing conference: "I'm a capitalist. I own a quarter of Bahlsen, that's great. I want to buy a sailing yacht and stuff like that."

Although German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that the audience clapped and laughed along with her, some social media users accused the heiress of being insensitive to the company's past exploitation of forced labourers by making light-hearted remarks about her wealth.

Asked about the criticism in an interview with Bild newspaper, Ms Bahlsen replied: "That was before my time, and we paid the forced labourers exactly as much as German workers and we treated them well."

She added that the company had nothing to feel guilty about.

The Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre in Berlin tweeted that there was "a great knowledge gap for family members of the Bahlsen family".

"The issue of Nazi forced labour is often still a blind spot in the collective memory," they added.

Guy Stern, a 97-year-old scientist whose family were killed in the Holocaust, also criticised Ms Bahlsen - telling reporters that she was talking about forced labourers "from the high viewpoint of an heiress".

The Social Democratic Party's general secretary Lars Klingbeil said: "Someone who inherits such great wealth, also inherits responsibility and should not be so arrogant."

And historian and writer Felix Bohr argued in Der Spiegel magazine that although Ms Bahlsen couldn't change her company's past, "she must face up to its historical responsibility".

Ms Bahlsen has now apologised, admitting her comments were thoughtless.

"Nothing could be further from my mind than to downplay national socialism or its consequences," she said in a statement on Wednesday.

She added that she recognised the need to learn more about the company's history.

"As the next generation, we have responsibility for our history. I expressly apologise to all whose feelings I have hurt," she said.

UNi SNU 1355

More News
Australian drug chosen for trail in COVID-19  treatment

Australian drug chosen for trail in COVID-19 treatment

05 Jun 2020 | 2:49 PM

Sydney, June 5 (UNI) A pioneering drug developed by the University of Western Australia's spin-off company Dimerix will be included in a global trial to treat patients suffering Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) with COVID-19, the university announced on Thursday.

see more..
Trump faces lawsuit over attack on protesters outside White house

Trump faces lawsuit over attack on protesters outside White house

05 Jun 2020 | 10:17 AM

Washington June 5 (UNI) United states President Donald trump has been sued in federal court of America over his Monday act of forcefully removing the protesters outside White house.

see more..
UN express deep concern over Human right violation in Philippines

UN express deep concern over Human right violation in Philippines

05 Jun 2020 | 9:27 AM

Geneva June 5 (UNI) The UN human rights office called on the Philippine government in a new report on Thursday and expressed its concern about the Human rights violation in the country.

see more..

COVID-19: Iran reports 3,574 new cases

04 Jun 2020 | 9:55 PM

Tehran, June 4 (UNI) Iran's total COVID-19 cases reached 1,64,270 as it registered 3,574 new cases during the past 24 hours, reported the official IRNA news agency on Thursday.

see more..

Would resist Israel's plan of annexing Palestinian territories, says Fatah and Hamas

04 Jun 2020 | 9:53 PM

Gaza, June 4 (UNI) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement and the Islamic militant organisation Hamas movement announced on Thursday that they will resist Israel if the latter attempts to annex Palestinian lands in West Bank.

see more..