Jews call on Bernie Ecclestone to resign over Hitler remarks

July 7th, 2009 - 4:48 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Bernie Ecclestone Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone expressed regrets Monday for the upset caused by his praise of Adolf Hitler’s leadership, but insisted he would not resign.

The aging motor-sport supremo, who has been under fire recently for the manner in which he controls F1 motor racing, earned broad condemnation after telling a British newspaper that Hitler “got things done.”

In an interview with The Times, Ecclestone said, “he (Hitler) brought a country that was bankrupt into a country that was very strong and that was really demonstrating what someone could do if they had the power and didn’t have to keep [checking] back and referring every five minutes”.

“The trouble with politicians and democracy is they all the time have to compromise, they can’t do what they want to do because there is somebody in opposition. It certainly takes a lot longer to do something,” he said.

Ecclestone, F1’s commercial rights holder, dismissed calls from the World Jewish Congress (WJC) that he should resign, and questioned the suitability of its president, Ronald Lauder, who criticized Ecclestone.

“I think the people who are saying that (I should resign) haven’t got the power to say these things,” Ecclestone said.

“It’s a pity they didn’t sort the banks out … (if) they have a lot of influence everywhere,” Ecclestone said, referring to the global economic crisis without any further elaboration.

The WJC, which represents Jewish communities in more than 80 countries, said on its web site that it continues to secure ‘the rights and safety of Jews’ around the world.

Ecclestone said he does not regret praising Hitler’s leadership,”except as usual things were taken a little bit wrong.”

“I regret that it didn’t come out like that, upsetting people is the last thing I wanted to do, obviously,” he claimed.

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