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Volkswagen boss apologises for Nazi gaffe

[quote] Volkswagen was founded in 1937, as part of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's vision to enable German families to own their first car. During World War Two, the Wolfsburg-based firm manufactured vehicles for the German army, using more than 15,000 slave labourers from nearby concentration camps.

Just amazing that VW was allowed to carry on after the war.

by Not a fanreply 1103/14/2019

IG Farben made Zyklon B for the Nazis and used slave labor, yet Bayer is still going strong! It really does blow your mind.

by Not a fanreply 103/14/2019

a Nazi GAFFE?

A fucking GAFFE?

by Not a fanreply 203/14/2019

What was the gaffe, OP? You posted anything but.

by Not a fanreply 303/14/2019

The gaffe was a pun the CEO made in a speech, where he punned on the phrase "Arbeit Macht Frei."

by Not a fanreply 403/14/2019

[quote]At a company event this week, Diess said the phrase “EBIT macht frei,” which is extremely similar to the Nazi-popularized phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei.” “Arbeit Macht Frei” means “work will set you free”; EBIT is a popular business acronym for “earnings before interest and taxes.” Diess said in a statement cited by BBC News that he regretted what was “definitely an unfortunate choice of words,” and argued that “at no time was it my intention for this statement to be placed in a false context. At the time, I simply did not think of this possibility.”

by Not a fanreply 503/14/2019

[quote] "At the time, I simply did not think of this possibility.”

Sheer ignorance.

by Not a fanreply 603/14/2019

The Allied postwar de-Nazification program deliberately chose not to grind the German people's faces in their defeat. It was decided that doing that after WWI had been a key element in the rise of Hitler. Instead they used due process to punish individuals who perpetrated crimes against humanity and otherwise encouraged Germany to rebuild according to the international community's standards of democracy. It was very successful and the VW Beetle became the favorite vehicle of American hippies.

by Not a fanreply 703/14/2019

[italic]"Just amazing that VW was allowed to carry on after the war."[/italic]

Just the opposite: Germany was in ruins, people needed jobs to eat and then rebuild, and the Allied occupiers (except for the Soviets) wanted to secure the loyalty of the German people as Stalin was taking over Eastern Europe. (Stalin preferred other methods instead of jobs.) Volkswagen's plant was in the British zone and a British army officer and engineer, Ivan Hirst, who first ran a tank repair base in Belgium, moved to occupied Germany in the summer of 1945 with the intention of scrapping the VW plant in Wolfsburg as war reparitions. He realized, instead, that the factory could produce vehicles for the British Army of Occupation and did so.

There's now a road in Wolfsburg named "Major-Hirst-Straße"

by Not a fanreply 803/14/2019

[quote] American hippies

Sheer ignorance. They probably did not know either that Hitler's admiration for the way the Native Americans were destroyed was such that his armored train was called "Amerika".

by Not a fanreply 903/14/2019

VW and other German car companies used the concentration camp labor to make their products during the war

by Not a fanreply 1003/14/2019

Not at all, R9 -- everyone in the 1960s in America knew the history of Volkswagen, but it wasn't considered a scandal because the company had been completely revamped by the British Allies. It was seen as a symbol of post-war resurgence of German democracy and resilience and a sign they could rehabilitate themselves as a country, which is why it was signed back over to the Germans pretty early on, 1949 I think.

Not sure what the "Amerika" thing is about, it seems off topic.

by Not a fanreply 1103/14/2019
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