BONN (Jan. 16)
Hermann Fellner, a ranking member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), apologized today for an anti-Semitic slur. He handed a written apology to Werner Nachmann, chairman of the West German Jewish community, and several hours later made his amends verbally in the Bundestag.
Fellner is Home Affairs spokesman for the Bundestag faction of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He created a furor last week when he remarked in a newspaper interview that Jewish claims for reparations from firms that used Jews as slave laborers during World War II created the impression that “Jews are quick to show up whenever money jingles in German cashboxes.”
Fellner said today that he retracted his statement without reservations. Originally, he had defended his remark, cautioning Jews to be more sensitive to the feelings of Germans. He said a politician of his age was entitled to speak out on such issues. Fellner is 35, a member of the post-war generation.