VW CEO reportedly mimicked an infamous Nazi slogan during a company event

Marco Green
March 15, 2019

During a recent company event, Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess used a phrase similar to a slogan used by the Nazis in extermination camps, a report from the BBC says.

If that sounds familiar, it's because it echoes "Arbeit Macht Frei", or "work sets you free"-the slogan on the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp". Ebit is an acronym for earnings before interest and tax.

The attempt at humour caused particular offence.

Volkswagen was founded by the German Labour Front under Nazi rule in the 1930s and eventually admitted to using 15,000 slave workers during World War II. The speech was meant to rally his company's flagging spirits after he announced that it would... "At the time, I simply did not think of this possibility".

The incident refocused attention on the company's Nazi origins, a chapter that it has struggled to acknowledge and get past. The Times said that more than 300 children died at the nursery.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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