At a news conference for his new film "Melancholia," starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as sisters, he said that he at one point "really wanted to be a Jew, and then I found out that I was really a Nazi, because, you know, my family was German. Which also gave me some pleasure."
He added: "What can I say? I understand Hitler, but I think he did some wrong things, yes, absolutely. But I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end. ... He's not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him, and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I'm not for the Second World War, and I'm not against Jews...I am very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the butt."
then he retracted with:
“If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize,” Von Trier said in a statement. “I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi.”