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Volkswagen CEO Apologizes for Referencing Nazi Slogan During Company Event

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is under fire for apparently making a Nazi reference while talking about his company’s earnings during an event in Germany. Diess used the phrase “Ebit macht frei,” which is similar to “Arbeit macht frei” a phrase inscribed in Nazi concentration camps, meaning “work sets you free.” Diess said the link between the two was unintentional and penned a blog post on Linkedin apologizing. “Trademarks with a high return have experience that they have a higher degree of freedom of choice within the Group,” Diess said in the post. “That is what my statement referred to.” Volkswagen has a deep, complicated history in Germany. It was one of many companies that benefitted from slave labor in concentration camps and was originally founded as a state-run automobile company in Germany. The company’s founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was a member of the Nazi Party and had the support of Adolf Hitler. “It was in no way my intention to put this statement in a false context. That...

Mar 15, 2019