Germany’s best known, best loved and best looking TV personality has committed career suicide by praising the family policies of the Nazis.
Eva Herman, 48, whose blonde, blue-eyed features would have earned her praise from Adolf Hitler’s race theorists, was sacked as soon as her admiration for the Third Reich’s attitude to women and children were made public.
For two decades Ms. Herman (left) was a news reader and personality whose poise and beauty earned her an army of fans. But in publicising a new book called ‘The Noah’s Arc Principle’ – a tome about the need for more family oriented politics – she ended her career by praising Nazi attitudes to hearth and home.
She said at a press conference for her book: “It was a cruel time when we were led into ruin by a hard, highly dangerous politician. However, there were things then that were good and the value that was placed on mothers, children, families…that was good co-operation.”
She said that the child-rearing policies – mothers were given money and medals depending on how many children they bore for the Reich – as “something good.”
The NDR network for whom she works reacted swiftly. Director of programming Volker Herres said: “Ms. Herman’s literary activity is no longer compatible from our viewpoint with her role as a TV host.”
He said guests had begun to cancel their appearances on a talk show she co-hosts. Another employer, the ARD network, brought the shutters down immediately, saying: “We see no more possibilities for her.”
Ms Herman was mortified. “I dissociated myself several times expressly from the Third Reich,” she said.
“One must regard my words in the total context. What I said concerns not Hitler’s values, but human basic values, which were abused in the Third Reich. Anyone who knows me and who reads the book knows I reject both the extreme left and right with equal conviction.”
Writer Ralph Giordano, 84, a Holocaust survivor, said: “Hers are the worst words I have heard in a long time. Ms. Herman should know that the family policies of the Third Reich were only to produce cannon fodder.
“That was the characteristic of them, the same as the characteristic of the whole of the Third Reich was the gas chambers.”
Her high-profile sacking illustrates how the Nazi past remains such a deeply sensitive subject for all Germans, 62 years after Hitler and his henchmen were defeated.
Ms Herman rejects the politics of the far-right but they somehow seem drawn to her.
When she wrote an earlier book about motherhood and parenting called ‘The Eva Principle,’ Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party in Austria asked her to go there and make a speech to members.
She didn’t go but her rather conservative views on women and bringing up children made her the darling of politicians who shared her outlook.
She has been married four times and has one son. Husband number one was a car mechanic, number two a TV reporter, number three a TV producer and number four, with whom she is still together, is a hotelier.
She trained in hotel management before branching out into journalism at which she became famous. As well as co-hosting a popular talk show she does TV specials and has released albums of herself singing.
“Why does she love Hitler’s family politics?,” was the headline on the front page of the best-selling Bild newspaper today suggesting that her TV career will now be eclipsed by careless remarks that were taken to be praise for the bane of her country.
Woman to Women: Shut up Once in a While