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The boss of the German automaker Volkswagen Herbert Diess apologized after referring to a notorious Nazi slogan during a corporate event.
This emphasized the importance of increasing corporate profits and told employees "Ebit makes free", apparently referring to the German phrase "work free" that appeared at the entrance to Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. 19659016] "Ebit" is an abbreviation that refers to a company's earnings before interest and taxes.
In a statement issued on Dies's LinkedIn account, he said he was "extremely sorry" for his "very unfortunate choice of words and unwillingly hurt feelings." This also added that Volkswagen has been active for three decades Make sure that companies, management and employees "know Volkswagen's special historical responsibility in relation to the Third Reich".
In an e-mail to Bloomberg, Volkswagen's Board of Directors said it dissociates itself strongly from the remarks, "but at the same time Die Zeit takes note of the immediate apology made by Mr Diess.
Volkswagen was founded in 1937 as part of the efforts of Adolf Hitler's NSDAP to promote an affordable "Volksauto" (Volkswagen) for the German public. During the Second World War, Volkswagen was among the first German companies to use forced labor, to use prisoners of war, concentration camp inmates – including those from Auschwitz – and foreign forced laborers for the further production of civilian vehicles.
In 1999 Volkswagen opened a permanent exhibition in its original Wolfsburg plant titled "Memorial of forced labor in the Volkswagen factory". The exhibition wants to explain to what extent the company relied on forced labor and was involved in the Nazi wartime economy.
Diess & Gaffe finished a difficult week for Volkswagen: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued the company and its former CEO Martin Winterkorn for the diesel emissions scandal of the German automaker, which is a "massive scam" against US investors.
Volkswagen was caught illegally using software in 2015 to defraud US environmental pollution tests. This led to a worldwide setback against diesel, which had cost so far 29 billion euros. The company admitted to secretly installing software in 500,000 US vehicles to defraud state exhaust emissions tests and pleaded guilty in 2017. Thirteen people have been indicted in the United States, including Winterkorn and four Audi managers.
The SEC lawsuit also mentions VW Credit and Volkswagen Group of America Finance LLC, the company that sold the securities. VW is also in Brunswick before investor activities.
Reuters contributed to this story.
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