The heiress of a German biscuit company has apologized for the fact that the company did "nothing wrong" during the Nazi regime.
Verena Bahlsen, 25, was accused of "forgetting history" and The Company had distanced herself from her comments.
But after the backlash, she admitted that her remarks were inappropriate.
"It was a mistake to intensify this debate with thoughtless answers," said Ms. Bahlsen in a statement.
Bahlsen, who makes biscuits from Choco Leibniz, employed about 200 forced laborers between 1
What did Verena Bahlsen say?
The controversy began 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 things like that."
German Handelsblatt reported that the audience clapped and laughed with her, some social media users accused the heiress of being insensitive to the former exploitation of forced labor by the company carefree to express their assets.
When asked about the criticism in an interview with the Bild newspaper, Ms. Bahlsen replied: "That was before my time, and we paid the forced laborers as much as the German workers and treated them well."  She added that the company has nothing to complain about.
These comments only deepened the controversy.
What was the reaction?
The Documentation Center for Nazi Forced Labor in Berlin tweeted that there was "a great knowledge gap for family members of the Bahlsen family" .
"The question of Nazi forced labor is often still a blind spot in the collective memory," they added.
Guy Stern, a 97-year-old scientist whose family was killed in the Holocaust, also criticized Ms. Bahlsen and told reporters that she speaks of forced labor "from the perspective of an heiress."
The Social The Secretary General of the Democratic Party, Lars Klingbeil, said: "Someone who inherits such great wealth also inherits responsibility and should not be so arrogant." Company passport t, "she has to face up to her historical responsibility".
He also criticized her "ignorance of history".
Ms. Bahlsen has now apologized and admitted that her comments were thoughtless.
"Nothing could be further from me than downplaying National Socialism or its consequences," she said in a statement Wednesday.
She added that she recognized the need to learn more about the company's history.
"As the next generation, we are responsible for our story, and I specifically apologize to anyone whose feelings I have hurt," she said. 19659032]