Roald Dahl’s family has apologized for the author’s “incomprehensible” anti-Semitic comments.
The creator of such books as Matilda, The BFG, The Witches, and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory died in 1990 at the age of 74.
Since then he has regularly topped the list of the country’s favorite authors and his stories have continued to be loved by children around the world.
But anti-Semitic comments he made have cast a shadow over his personal legacy.
In 1983, in an interview with the New Statesman, he said, “There is a quality in the Jewish character that arouses hostility, perhaps it is some kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews.
“I mean there’s always a reason anti-everything shows up somewhere.”
He added, “Not even a stinker like Hitler would pick them up just like that.”
A statement from the Dahl family has now been posted on The Roald Dahl Story Company’s website entitled, “Apologies for Roald Dahl’s anti-Semitic comments.”
First reported by the Sunday Times, it says, “The Dahl family and the Roald Dahl Story Company apologize for the continuing and understandable pain caused by some of Roald Dahl’s statements.
“Those biased comments are incomprehensible to us and are in stark contrast to the man we knew and to the values that underlie Roald Dahl’s stories, which have positively impacted young people for generations.
“We hope that, just as he did at his best, at his worst, Roald Dahl can help us remember the lasting impact of words.”
Dahl’s works remain popular for film and stage adaptations.
A new version of The Witches, starring Anne Hathaway, was released earlier this year, while Hollywood stars including Johnny Depp, Mark Rylance and Danny DeVito have all appeared in big-screen versions of his stories.