BONN (Jul. 9)
Chancellor Helmut Kohl has indicated that he will personally rebuke a fellow Christian Democrat from his home state of Rhine Palatinate for publicly praising a former high ranking Nazi official.
He was referring to Dieter Hoerner, a member of the Rhine Palatinate Parliament and of Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who spoke in glowing terms of Josef Buerckel at the recent jubilee celebration of Germany’s wine industry, attended by some 80,000 people.
Buerckel, who played a prominent role in boosting wines from the Palatinate, was an intimate friend of Hitler and the first district director in the Third Reich to declare that his jurisdiction was “Judenfrei” (free of Jews).
Replying to Werner Klein, leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party in Rhineland Palatinate, Kohl said Hoerner’s remarks “are not consistent with my idea of how to present the history of my homeland.” He said he would “have a word” with Hoerner on the matter.
Hoerner was publicly repudiated by the Prime Minister of Rhineland Palatinate, Bernhard Vogel who refused to participate in the jubilee ceremonies.