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Roald Dahl’s family apologises for his antisemitism

Roald Dahl’s family apologises for his antisemitism 37 years after he referred to a ‘trait in Jewish character that provokes animosity’

  • Roald Dahl said ‘there is a trait in the Jewish character’ that provokes ‘animosity’
  • Dahl’s estate has signed lucrative deals with broadcasters to adapt his works
  • His family described his views as ‘incomprehensible to us’ in a joint statement

The family of Roald Dahl has apologised for the antisemitism of the late children’s author.

His relatives issued a statement describing Dahl’s views as ‘incomprehensible to us’, after becoming concerned about the potential of his racism to tarnish his legacy.

In an interview with the New Statesman magazine in 1983, Dahl – who died in 1990, aged 74 – declared: ‘There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity… even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.’

The estate of Dahl has signed lucrative deals with broadcasters to adapt his works. 

Roald Dahl’s family has apologised for the ‘incomprehensible’ antisemitism of the late children’s author

They include a Hollywood version of The Witches.

In a statement to The Sunday Times, Dahl’s family said: ‘Apologising for the words of a much-loved grandparent is a challenging thing to do, but made more difficult when the words are so hurtful to an entire community.

‘We loved Roald, but we passionately disagree with his antisemitic comments.’

It is understood Dahl’s relatives did not inform Jewish groups about the apology.

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