Dhe company inheritance Verena Bahlsen apologized on Wednesday for her comments on forced laborers at biscuit maker Bahlsen. In a personal statement, she speaks of careless statements and a mistake. "Nothing is further from me than to downplay National Socialism and its consequences," she said. She also realized that she had to deal more intensively with the history of the company whose name she bears.
"As a successor generation, we have responsibility for our history; I expressly apologize to all those whose feelings I have hurt. "Verena Bahlsen had told the" Bild "newspaper:" That was before my time and we paid the forced laborers as well as the Germans and treated them well. "Their statements had triggered a storm of indignation.
Previously, the company had already tried to smooth the waves. The pastry manufacturer, which employs about 3,000 people, was aware of the great suffering and injustice that had befallen the forced laborers and many other people under National Socialism, it said. He stands by his historical and moral responsibility.
After all that is known, between 1942 and 1945 Bahlsen employed around 200 forced laborers, especially women from Eastern Europe. Some of them had sued Bahlsen in 1999, but the Hanover Regional Court had rejected their demands for compensation.
At about the same time, Bahlsen, like other German companies, participated in the "Foundation Initiative of the German Economy for the Compensation of Former Forced Laborers". There, the company contributed about 1.5 million German marks.