Antisemitism Apology Greets Visitors to Author's Museum

Statement calls Roald Dahl's racism undeniable
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2023 12:50 PM CDT
for saturday/Antisemitism Apology Greets Visitors to Author's Museum
A photo issued in 2011 shows Roald Dahl's hut, located in the garden of his home, Gipsy House, in Great Missenden, England.   (AP Photo/ Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre/PA Wire)

A museum that celebrates the writings of Roald Dahl is making clear that it doesn't celebrate everything the British author said and did. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center near London has installed a sign apologizing to visitors for Dahl's antisemitic statements, the Bucks Free Press reports. The statement was also posted on the museum's website. The author's family issued an apology in 2020, 30 years after he died. "We fully support the apology made by the Dahl family and Roald Dahl Story Company for his racist views about Jewish people," the museum statement says.

The author of such children's books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda described himself as antisemitic and expressed such views regularly. The museum statement says that "Dahl's racism is undeniable and indelible" and that it condemns all racism. "We do not publicly repeat what Dahl wrote and said about Jewish people," the statement said, "but we do keep a record in the Museum's collection, so it's not forgotten." Officials said the staff is working with Jewish organizations and has undergone training by the Antisemitism Policy Trust, per the New York Times.

The sign also calls Dahl contradictory as a person. "He could be kind, he often helped people, donated to charity, and contributed to medical science," it says. "There are also recorded incidents of him being very unkind and worse." Dahl's books have been reworked to remove terms such as "fat" and "ugly," a process that met opposition and a rethinking of that project. The museum in Great Missenden said it's committed to such efforts. "We want to keep listening and talking to explore how our organization might make further contributions towards combating hate and prejudice," the statement said. (More Roald Dahl stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.