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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Hagerstown Mayor David Gysberts has apologized for telling visiting German students he sometimes wishes his city had a war to clear out old buildings.

A video posted by The Herald-Mail shows the students from Wesel, Germany reacted Tuesday with startled laughter.

Gysberts is a high school guidance counselor who was elected to his first term in November. His comments apparently referred to World War II bombings of German cities.

On Wednesday evening, Gysberts issued a statement saying he regretted the statement and apologized to anyone who was offended. He said he was expressing frustration with urban renewal, and did not intend to make light of the suffering the German students’ parents and grandparents may have experienced.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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