The executive director of one of the world's largest automakers, Volkswagen has had to apologize for his language at a ledermøde Tuesday, after the company had presented its results for the year 2018.
It writes multiple media, among others, Reuters and Die Presse.
During the meeting, where the management was also presented with a savings plan, said Herbert Diess:
EBIT macht frei.
EBIT is in regnskabslingo a widely used acronym for Earnings Before Interest and Tax (profit before interest and tax red.)
'Arbeit macht frei' is, however, a well-known phrase that was used by nazi Germany - not least in the labour - and extermination camps.
the Proverb, which means 'work makes free', is probably best known from the it - cast in metal, hung over the entrance to, among others, Auschwitz.
the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland was the largest concentration and extermination camp during the Holocaust. It is estimated that over a million people were killed or died in lejrkomplekset.
the Term is, however, originally came from the 19. century and is attributed to the linguist Lorenz Diefenbach. It was used already by the Weimar republic in connection with promotion of employment measures.
While Herbert Diess, with the choice of the words believed that a tidy profit was essential for the options available in Volkswagen's divisions, then apologize, he now for the choice of words.
- It was a very unfortunate choice of words, and if it unintentionally hurt someone's feelings, then I sincerely regret it, says Herbert Diess to the German media Wirtschafts Woche.
He also tells the media that Volkswagen and its employees are very aware of 'the special historic responsibility that rests on the Volkswagen in the context of The Third Reich'.
the Volkswagen was a nazi prestige project, which would produce cheap cars for the working class.
During the Second world War the production was, however, diverted to military equipment, among other things, the widely used the Kübelwagen. In the same period was utilized large amounts of forced labour.