Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Volkswagen board condemns CEO for evoking Nazi slogan

Volkswagen board condemns CEO for evoking Nazi slogan

The chief executive of Volkswagen is facing calls to resign after a play on words using the Nazi slogan over the Auschwitz gates.

"It was in fact a very unfortunate choice of words and if I unintentionally hurt any feelings, I am truly sorry". "I would like to apologise in any form".

Tajani's apology came amid another controversy involving Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, who recently evoked the Nazi phrase "Arbeit macht frei" (Work sets you free) with comments at a company event. EBIT is a finance acronym for "earnings before interest and taxes", and Diess says he was referring to the freedom the Volkswagen Group would have from positive sales growth.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has apologised for comments made which appeared to play on a Nazi-era slogan, capping a rough week for the automaker battling a USA government lawsuit.

"It was in no way my intention to put this statement in a false context", he said.


Herbert Diess used the pun "EBIT macht frei" during a speech at the firm's management gathering on Tuesday.

Volkswagen was founded in 1937, as part of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's vision to enable German families to own their first auto. During the Second World War, prisoners of war and concentration camp captives were used as slave labour at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg factory as part of Germany's military efforts. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to comment. The Times said that more than 300 children died at the nursery.

"Volkswagen has undertaken many activities over the last 30 years that have made the company, myself personally and our employees fully aware of the historical responsibility Volkswagen bears in connection with the Third Reich", Diess wrote.

Volkswagen's CEO has apologised for the remarks.

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