NDR fires Herman over Nazi remarks

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COLOGNE, Germany -- The German media and high-ranking politicians are praising public broadcaster NDR for its decision to fire conservative talk show host and author Eva Herman after she made comments praising the Nazis' "family values."

NDR, part of the national ARD network, fired Herman from the right wing/left wing talk show "Herman and Tietjen" on Sunday. The move came after Herman, promoting her latest book on family values, said that Hitler's family policies -- which included cash bonuses for extra children and the death penalty for abortions -- were good for the country.

"It was a horrible time with a manic and dangerous leader who led the Germans into ruin. ... But values like family, children and motherhood were promoted in the Third Reich and were destroyed in the 1960s. Much that was of value from that time was destroyed," Herman said.

Herman is considered the German equivalent of Ann Coulter, a blond, blue-eyed commentator known for her conservative views on the family and motherhood. She is an unusual figure in the German talk show circuit, where aggressive, U.S.-style confrontation and polemic is rare.

Herman rose to fame as the anchor of "Tagesschau," Germany's top-rated TV news program. She took a leave of absence from her show last year amid controversy surrounding the publication of her first book, the anti-feminist "The Eva Principle," which called for woman to focus on their families and child-rearing instead of their careers.

In her new book: "The Noah's Ark Principle -- Why We Must Save the Family," Herman blames the 1960s generation for destroying the Nazis' "pro-family" policies.

"NDR did the right thing in firing Herman," Renate Kunast, the co-head of Germany's Green Party told online site Bild.de on Monday. "With Eva Herman, even feminists like myself would like to see her stay in the kitchen."

Columnist Lars von der Gonna, writing for national daily newspaper WAZ, echoed that sentiment.

"The supposed 'virtues' (of the Nazis' family policies) weren't ones at all," von der Gonna wrote. "For the Nazis, family policy meant supporting their racial policy (of breeding 'Aryans'). ... In the Herman case, NDR reacted quickly and correctly."

"NDR and ARD can breath easily now, they have one less problem to deal with," Michael Hanfeld wrote in his commentary Monday for the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

Even conservative tabloid the Bild Zeitung, long a Herman supporter, abandoned the TV celebrity following here pro-Nazi comments. Under the headline "Why Did She Praise Hitler's Family Policies?" Bild quoted Holocaust survivor Ralph Giordano condemning Herman.

"Her comments are the worst thing I have heard in a long while," Giordano said. "The singular characteristic of the Third Reich was not how it treated its mothers -- they were only there to produce cannon fodder. The singular characteristic was the gas chambers."

For her part, Herman said her comments were taken out of context and that she rejects all forms of extreme politics "both from the left or the right."
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