Verena Bahlsen, a 25-year-old heiress of Germany’s Bahlsen cookie company, defended her family’s history of using 200 forced laborers under Nazi rule.
“We paid the forced laborers exactly as much as German workers and we treated them well,” she said in comments published by Bild newspaper on Tuesday.
She also told a marketing conference last week that she was a “capitalist” and “I want to buy a sailing yacht.”
She has since apologized for her “thoughtless responses” and said she didn’t mean to “downplay national socialism or its consequences.”
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The 25-year-old heiress of a German cookie empire has apologized for downplaying her family’s history of using forced laborers under Nazi rule, saying that “we treated them well.”
Verena Bahlsen, whose great-grandfather Hermann Bahlsen founded the eponymous company that produces the Leibniz brand of cookie, told Germany’s Bild newspaper last week that the company did nothing wrong when it employed dozens of forced laborers during World War II.
She is currently is a founder of Hermann’s, a restaurant owned by the Bahlsen company.
“This was before my time and we paid the forced laborers exactly as much as German workers and we treated them well,” Bahlsen said, as cited by Reuters. The German newspaper published the remarks on Tuesday.
The Bahlsen company employed about 200 forced laborers, most of whom were women from German-occupied Ukraine, between 1943 and 1945. The company voluntarily paid 1.5 million Deutschmarks — Germany’s currency at the time, which is equivalent to 767,000 euros or $860,000 — to a foundation to compensate forced laborers under Nazi rule.
Verena Bahlsen also appeared to show off her wealth at a marketing conference in Hamburg last week, around the same time she made the comments to Bild.
She told the audience, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper: “I am a capitalist. I …read more
Source:: Business Insider