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Formula One Chief Lauds Hitler's Efficiency

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2009 7:30 PM CDT
Formula One Chief Lauds Hitler's Efficiency
Bernie Ecclestone, who owns F1's commercial rights, attends a meeting at the FIA headquarters, in Paris Wednesday June 24, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gareth Watkins, Pool)

(Newser) – The billionaire chief of Formula One racing admires Adolf Hitler, disses democracy, and applauds Margaret Thatcher—but slams the West for lacking cultural sensitivity. Hitler "could command a lot of people" and was "able to get things done," Bernie Ecclestone tells the Times of London. But Germany's tyrant allowed others to persuade him "to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not ... In the end he got lost." 

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The outspoken 78-year-old, whose tongue has enraged critics before, dismisses democracy—“it hasn’t done a lot of good for many countries"—and laments the "terrible" decision to oust Saddam Hussein. "We move into countries and we have no idea of the culture," he says. Politicians and Jewish groups quickly returned fire: "This fashionable contempt for the right of people to elect their own leaders is frankly frightening," says a Labour MP. (Read more Bernie Ecclestone stories.)

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