And finally… taking the biscuit

The heiress to a famous German biscuit company has come under fire for saying the company “did nothing wrong” by using slave labour in the Nazi era.

Verena Bahlsen, 25, is an entrepreneur and the great-granddaughter of Hermann Bahlsen, creator of the Choco-Leibniz biscuits produced by the Bahlsen company.

The row began after she made a speech in defence of capitalism, telling a conference: “I want to make money and buy yachts.”

When critics pointed out that Ms Bahlsen stands to inherit a quarter of a firm that employed up to 250 forced labourers from Eastern Europe, she doubled down, The Telegraph reports.

Ms Bahlsen told German tabloid Bild: “That was before my time. We paid the forced labourers as much as the Germans and treated them well. We did nothing wrong.”

However, her comments have sparked incredulity and outrage in Germany and abroad.

Professor Manfred Grieger of Göttingen University explained: “So-called ‘eastern workers’ and Poles were given less food, poorer medical care and were at the mercy of police law. They were forced to live behind barbed wire.”

Share icon
Share this article: