German mayor apologizes for publishing Nazi-era memorial ad

BERLIN (AP) — The mayor of Hildburghausen in Germany has apologized for publishing a Nazi-era memorial ad as part of an official notice commemorating the town's bombardment by Allied forces during World War II.

Mayor Holger Obst was widely criticized over the weekend for posting the ad, which described the Feb. 23, 1945 bombardment as a "terror attack" and listed a memorial event that included an address from Adolf Hitler.

In a follow-up published Monday on the town's website, Obst said it had been a mistake to publish the historical notice without further comment, but insisted he hadn't intended to downplay the Nazi dictatorship.

Far-right groups frequently try to portray Germans as victims in the war by highlighting instances involving large numbers of civilian casualties, such as the Feb. 1945 bombing of Dresden.