Bahlsen's heiress returns in forced labor disputes


After the excitement about her comments about the role of the biscuit company Bahlsen in the Third Reich, Verberger Bahlsen shows regret.

In a personal statement, the 26-year-old explains that she is sorry about her words: "Sorry, I cannot do anything without defeating National Socialism and its aftermath."

She acknowledged that she was responsible for the history of the company as a representative of the successor generation. "I apologize to everyone whose feelings I have hurt," Verena Bahlsen continued.

Verena Bahlsen

Verena Bahlsen led to a debate with her comments about forced laborers in the cookie company during the Nazi era

Bahlsen wants to employ 200 forced laborers

The corporate heir, who owns a quarter of the shares in Bahlsen, said in an interview with the "Bild" newspaper about forced laborers in the cookie empire during the Nazi period: "That was before my time and we paid both forced laborers and the Germans and they treated them well. "The Bahlsen group had" done nothing wrong. "

The statement had caused great outrage internationally and was considered to play down the crimes of the Nazis. Historian Michael Wolffsohn called Bahlsen's statement in conversation with the DPA news agency "unbearable for history and business ethics" and "a German company unworthy".

Bahlsen's business communication already responded on Monday to the steep propositions of the takeover. "The company is aware of the great suffering and injustice suffered by forced laborers and many other people at the time and recognizes its historical and moral responsibility here," it said in a statement.

According to their own data, the company used around 200 forced laborers between 1943 and 1945. "The same wage as German employees was self-evident and good treatment meant that at the end of the war they had to stop their & # 39; s work with their German colleagues & # 39; s and avoid a looting & # 39; , in a nutshell, the official business chronicle describes the use of forced labor.

Verena Bahlsen wants to deal with history

"The heavy word is not & # 39; work & # 39 ;, the heavy word is & # 39; coercion & # 39 ;, it is a psychological humiliation – these are chains that are imposed on someone & # 39;" said historian Guy Stern, who explains the injustice of forced laborers.

The Bahlsen Group announced that it wanted the history of forced labor to be elaborated and published more extensively by independent historians & # 39 ;.

The legacy of the company, Verena Bahlsen, has also decided to review the history of the traditional company from Hanover: "I also realized that I have to deal more intensively with the history of the company whose name I bear."

TV interview: Bahlsen cookie thieves are great

sources: Bahlsen press releases, Bahlsen corporate chronicle, "Bild", DPA news agency