The family of British writer Roald Dahl, who died 30 years ago, has publicly apologized for the anti-Semitic remarks he made during his lifetime. Through a brief statement on the official website of the author, both the family and the company that manages his estate “deeply apologize for the lasting and understandable damage caused by certain statements by Roald Dahl.” The statement came after the first meeting of his heirs in several years.
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Dahl made numerous anti-Semitic comments throughout his life, such as in an interview with the magazine The New Statesman in 1983, when he said that “there is a trait in the Jewish character that provokes animosity, perhaps it is a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews.” “There is always a reason for the ‘anti-something’ to sprout. Even a scoundrel like Hitler did not harass them without reason,” said the writer of well-known books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches or Matilda.
For his family, these “comments are incomprehensible to us and are in stark contrast to the man we met and the underlying values of the Roald Dahl stories, which have had a positive impact on young people for generations.”
The British media speculate on the reason why the family has now made an apology public, although the statement is quite hidden on the website of the writer who died on November 23, 1990 at the age of 74. For The Sunday Times, Dahl’s anti-Semitism “casts a shadow” on the lucrative legacy his work has left: according to the latest available data, it generated 23 million pounds (25 million euros) in the last year.
His books have been translated into 58 different languages, selling more than 200 million copies worldwide. Titles like Matilda or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory They have been brought to the big screen by directors like Wes Anderson, Steven Spielberg or Tim Burton.