The head of Germany's main Jewish group sharply criticized a regional governor Thursday for his eulogy of a predecessor who had resigned after it was revealed he served as a Nazi-era judge.
Gunther Oettinger, the current conservative governor of the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberb, praised predecessor Hans Filbinger, who died April 1 at the age of 93.
Oettinger, in his eulogy Wednesday in Freiburg, said Filbinger was "not a Nazi" and "an opponent of the Nazi regime. However, he could not avoid the compulsion of the regime, any more than millions of others," Oettinger said.
Filbinger resigned as governor of the state in 1978 when it was revealed he had served as a judge during the Nazi period and had taken part in cases that ended in death sentences.