VW chief apologizes for evoking Nazi concentration camp slogan

Anger as VW chief executive plays on Nazi slogan at company event

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is in hot water for what he's now calling "definitely an unfortunate choice of words" he used at a company event Tuesday: "EBIT macht frei". EBIT is a commonly used abbreviation in finance for earnings before interest and taxes.

No German audience would fail to spot the reference to Auschwitz, where more than a million people were murdered by the Nazis - the overwhelming majority.

Diess's remark "is in this context considered inappropriate", the supervisory board said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The phrase "arbeit macht frei" or work sets you free hung above the gates at Holocaust sites such as Auschwitz.

Volkswagen was originally founded in 1937 by the National Socialist Party under Adolf Hitler to develop an affordable economy vehicle that would eventually become the Volkswagen Beetle.

‘Islamopobic’ attack in Whitechapel after New Zealand mosque massacre
Shamir Khan, 25 and three other men from his family, were at the Al Noor Mosque, one of the two mosques attacked by gunmen. Business Standard reports that Tarrant allegedly used "two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon".

Responding on LinkedIn, Diess said he had meant to say that more profitable divisions had more freedom to make decisions and hadn't meant to invoke the Nazi slogan.

In 1938, Adolf Hitler himself laid the foundation stone for the first Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg in northern Germany, tasked with building an affordable vehicle for all Germans - which would go on to become the iconic Beetle. The CEO's comments were first reported by German news outlets.

Diess took to social media this week to apologize for the gaffe.

Diess went on to explain: "For more than three decades, Volkswagen has demonstrated with many activities that the company, myself and our employees are aware of Volkswagen's special historical responsibility in connection with the Third Reich".

VW said the SEC complaint is "legally and factually flawed" and the company will "contest it vigorously".

Related News:

  • Tributes paid to Mike Thalassitis after Love Island star dies at 26

    Tributes paid to Mike Thalassitis after Love Island star dies at 26

    Since news of his death broke, fans and co-stars have taken to social media to pay their tributes to the late reality star . Meanwhile Stevenage FC, for whom Thalassitis began his football career, paid tribute to their former player.
    Brexit: MPs to vote on 29 March no-deal exit from EU

    Brexit: MPs to vote on 29 March no-deal exit from EU

    Theresa May has resisted calls to sack rebel Cabinet ministers after the no-deal Brexit vote left her authority in shreds. She said: "I'm grateful... for the spirit in which they have sought to broker compromise in this House".
    Apple strikes back at Spotify

    Apple strikes back at Spotify

    The company also points out that Spotify's Watch app is now the number one app in the Watch Music category. Today the company has shot back, basically saying that Spotify just lives to make money off others work.
  • Arsenal to face Napoli in Europa League last eight

    Arsenal to face Napoli in Europa League last eight

    Arsenal boss Unai Emery is chasing a fourth Europa League title as manager after three successive wins at Sevilla . He has won 41 of his 71 matches in the competition, losing only 11; a close to 60% win percentage.
    NASA boss says first person on Mars will 'absolutely' be female

    NASA boss says first person on Mars will 'absolutely' be female

    That's where the Space Launch System, or SLS, comes in. "The goal is to get back on track", Bridenstine told a Senate committee. To meet that deadline, the administrator said he has tasked the agency to look into how to accomplish the June 2020 deadline.
    Jazz owner Miller: 'We're not a racist community'

    Jazz owner Miller: 'We're not a racist community'

    The fan gave an interview with Complex Sports, in which he defended himself and said there was nothing racist about what he said. The fan would be banned , and plans to sue Westbrook in retaliation. "It's truly disrespectful to the game, man".
  • Another Brexit referendum would be unfair, says Donald Trump

    Another Brexit referendum would be unfair, says Donald Trump

    Of his Irish grandfather, VP Pence said: "He was proud of being American but I can still hear that Irish brogue". Leo Varadkar will travel to Chicago tomorrow to continue his USA visit to mark St Patrick's Day celebrations.
    Four in custody following NZ mosque shooting

    Four in custody following NZ mosque shooting

    Qureshi said that he has made contact with Pakistan's ambassador to New Zealand to gather details of the terror attack. Police also defused explosive devices in a auto . "At that moment, I realised it was really serious", the man said.
    Schmidt and Gatland's tense rivalry adds spice to Six Nations clash

    Schmidt and Gatland's tense rivalry adds spice to Six Nations clash

    But they'll need the Scots to do them a favour against England to defend their title. But Gatland added: "It is not about us, it is about the players for this weekend".
  • IPL Spot-fixing case: Supreme Court sets aside life ban on Sreesanth

    IPL Spot-fixing case: Supreme Court sets aside life ban on Sreesanth

    India's Supreme Court on Friday set aside the life ban imposed on S Sreesanth by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. However, in two months, the High Court allowed BCCI's appeal and restored the ban.
    Former Eagles WR Golden Tate stays in the NFC East

    Former Eagles WR Golden Tate stays in the NFC East

    But instead of wearing the Philadelphia Eagles' midnight green, he'll be wearing the blue of the New York Giants. When the regular season begins, Tate will be 31, seven years younger than his new team's starting quarterback.
    Last remaining US diplomats leave Venezuela

    Last remaining US diplomats leave Venezuela

    Morales, who is on a visit to Greece, said meddling in the domestic affairs of another country never bodes well. Despite this, he said the US will continue to stand with self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido .


Most liked

Jaguar Land Rover recalls 44000 cars
Speaking with CarAdvice , JLR's local arm confirmed there are 1731 units affected in Australia - 958 Land Rovers and 773 Jaguars. JLR also declared that it shall be contacting the owners of the affected vehicles in order to arrange free-of-charge repairs.

River flooding expected by end of week
Officials are planning detours for traffic along portions of Interstate 29 that are closed near Rock Port due to flooding. Kim Reynolds signed an emergency disaster proclamation and activated the state emergency operations center Thursday.

Australia's 2-year ODI losing streak ends in New Delhi
A couple of spots are still up for grabs and even those are expected to be filled after the ongoing ODI series against Australia . Khawaja shed eight kilograms last winter and was recalled to the one-day squad in January, ending two years in 50-over exile.

Solskjaer insists Manchester United 'played well' in Arsenal defeat
Any move for Bale or another high-profile wide player would surely mark the end of Alexis Sanchez's forgettable spell with United .

Louisan learns his uncle was wounded in New Zealand mosque attacks
He sustained a head injury, which was not believed to be serious, and was kept in hospital for treatment, the police added. Following the attack, New Zealand's national security level was changed from "low" to "high".

Amazon Fire TV Apple Music Launches
The new support has arrived in the Apple Music skill, which has already been available for Echo device owners to utilize. Amazon's third-generation Fire TV dongle was recently discontinued and replaced by the Fire TV stick 4K.

These 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 episodes will be movies
Game of Thrones will stream and screen in Australia exclusively on FOX SHOWCASE, Foxtel's premium On Demand drama destination. The episode on the 28th is the first one from the new set to extend beyond 60 minutes, at an hour and 22 minutes.

United Kingdom watchdog puts Brexit war chest at £26.6b
Global growth is slowing, but United Kingdom wages are rising at their highest rate for a decade, amid record job creation. But he insisted the economy remained "remarkably robust".

Huawei claims the upcoming P30 line will "rewrite photographic rules"
On the downside of things, Huawei didn't want to reveal the full hardware specs that the new P30 smartphones will have to offer. The last time this happened was in August, when Huawei used DSLR-shot photos for a Huawei Nova 3 commercial.

US looks to test ground-launched cruise missile in August
In August, the Pentagon intends to test a cruise missile with a range of about 1,000 km, capable of flying at a low altitude. But he thought it was more likely that the Trump administration was simply planning for the treaty's demise.

Aussie politician claims Muslims are responsible for New Zealand shootings
In response, Anning turned around and struck the kid twice in the face, before the egger was tackled to the ground. On Sky News , political journalist Kieran Gilbert said someone with those views did not belong in parliament.

Three thoughts after Warriors beat Rockets narrowly in Houston
You can't really have letdowns with this team because they'll make you pay, and that's what happened". It seems like they still have the ability to get to that level based on Wednesday night's win.

What we know so far about the Christchurch mosque attack suspect
A suspect in the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques on Friday appeared in court on Saturday and was charged with murder. Dressed in a white prison tunic, handcuffed and flanked by two police officers, Tarrant stood passively in the dock.

The Sopranos: Prequel Movie Gets Premiere Date and New Title
The late James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos in 1999. (Robert Iler ) for a quiet dinner. " Sopranos " (and "Game of Thrones") alum Alan Taylor is directing the movie for New Line.

Nadal Wins in Straight Sets to Reach Indian Wells Quarters
Edmund , who won the Indian Wells second-tier Challenger event last week, struggled on serve in the opening set. Afterwards, in a clear indication of her confidence, Andreescu said: "For me, the sky's the limit".