Backlash is rising after an heiress to a German cookie empire shrugged off the hardship suffered by dozens of individuals pressured to work in her household’s enterprise beneath Nazi rule.
Verena Bahlsen, daughter of the proprietor of the Hanover-based Bahlsen firm, advised a German newspaper that her household’s firm “did nothing flawed” throughout World Warfare II, when it employed 200 pressured laborers – most of them ladies from Nazi-occupied Ukraine.
“This was earlier than my time and we paid the pressured laborers precisely as a lot as German staff and we handled them effectively,” Bahlsen advised Bild.
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Bahlsen is considered one of 4 youngsters of firm proprietor Werner Bahlsen.
Her feedback prompted some social media customers to name for a boycott of the corporate’s well-known biscuits.
German politicians additionally lashed out on the 25-year-old.
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“If you happen to inherit such a big property you additionally inherit duty and mustn’t come throughout as aloof,” Lars Klingbeil, secretary basic of the center-left Social Democrats, advised Bild.
The Nazi Compelled Labour Documentation Centre in Berlin pointed to Bahlsen’s feedback for instance of the lack of know-how concerning the plight of pressured laborers.
“Not solely is there a fantastic information hole for relations of the #Bahlsen household. The subject Nazi pressured labor is usually nonetheless a blind spot within the collective reminiscence,” the middle wrote on Twitter.
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In a press release, Bahlsen, which additionally makes the Leibniz butter cookies model and has annual gross sales exceeding $560 million, stated it was conscious of the ethical duty that comes with being considered one of dozens of German corporations that used pressured labor throughout the Nazi dictatorship, Reuters reported.