VW CEO In Hot Water For Making Nazi-Like Remark

There’s one cardinal rule if you’re the CEO of a German company that’s closely associated with Adolf Hitler. Don’t mention him, Nazis or any of their sayings unless you’re apologizing for past actions.

Unfortunately, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess came close to repeating a Nazi-linked phase during Tuesday’s Annual Media Conference and Capital Markets event. According to the BBC, Diess was discussing the company’s financials and brought up EBIT which stands for “earnings before interest and taxes.”

While that’s innocent enough, Diess reportedly said “Ebit macht frei” which meant “earnings before interest and taxes sets you free.” That doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s raised a lot of eyebrows in Germany as it’s similar to “Arbeit macht frei.” The latter phase translates to “work sets you free” and that’s associated with concentration camps. In fact, the phase is an integral part of the iconic gate at Auschwitz.

Given the sensitivity of the issue, Diess has apologized for the similarities. The BBC says the executive issued a statement saying “At no time was it my intention for this statement to be placed in a false context. At the time, I simply did not think of this possibility.” He went on to describe “Ebit macht frei” as an “unfortunate choice of words” and noted Volkswagen has a “special responsibility in connection with the Third Reich.”

Volkswagen regularly apologies for their involvement with the Nazis and Diess visited the Auschwitz concentration camp last year with some of the automaker’s apprentices. At the time, he noted “anti-Semitism and the radical right are again gaining ground,” so it’s “important for us to keep alive memories of the incredible degree of contempt for humanity which exceeds the bounds of our present imagination.”

  • Matthijs

    Who cares? After technical issues with TSI engines, bad service, dieselgate, using animals for tests the VW group gets away with anything, cause good marketing..

  • Six Thousand Times

    See fellas, you want us to forget about the nazis but in order to help us do that, you’re gonna need to stop reminding us about them.

    Otherwise, we’ll keep free associating: Germany? Nazis!

    • Astonman

      Why should we forget? Humans don’t learn when they forget. My father didn’t fight in WW2 to be forgotten. Have you seen the rise in teenagers in USA doing the salute?

      • Six Thousand Times

        Yes. I didn’t actually mean we should forget. I was just saying that if modern Germans don’t want us bringing up the nazis…

      • Alduin

        You need to realize that your father fought the wrong enemy. Our real enemies were and still are the Communists.

        • Matteo Tommasi

          I’m wondering how you managed to escape school. It needs to be enforced more.

          • Alduin

            What needs to be enforced more? Indoctrination and being spoon fed lies? You’re an idiot.

        • Astonman

          He and the others fought the correct enemies. It is up to up to us to handle the communists. And it’s not through war. It’s through economic sanctions.

          • Alduin

            Or Civil War.

    • Alduin

      Germany wouldn’t be having the problems they currently have if Nazis were still in power. Merkel is a moron.

  • Netsphere

    are we living in the world where everyone is such a [email protected](k1ng pansy that i cant say [email protected](k1ng on the internet. you know what? you all are a bunch of pu5$i3$ (0(k su(k1ng [email protected], how was that? and i identify as a potato. hope this has offended a large portion of you, [email protected](k you very much and good night.

    • Six Thousand Times

      You sound triggered. Can I show you to a safe space?

      • Netsphere

        Su(k a lollipop

  • brn

    I choose to be offended that other people choose to be offended.

    • TheHake

      Your statement offends me.


    A car for the people, an affordable Volkswagen, would bring
    great joy to the masses and the problems of building such a
    car must be faced with courage.

    Adolf Hitler

  • Alduin

    There was nothing wrong about Hitler,stop listening and believing the lies that leftist Communists have spewed about him and the Nazis. Lets talk about the evils of Communism,and Joseph Stalin and how todays Democrats share his radical views and visions? Does AOC ring a bell? You want to talk about dangerous she’s a wanna be female equivalent of Che Guevara.

    • Matt

      Dude were you dropped on your head as a baby?

      • Alduin

        Clearly you were.

        • Matt

          Because I don’t believe that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with murdering millions of people?

          • Alduin

            So you’re OK with what Stalin did to his own people?

          • Matt

            No I’m not OK with those things. Also I’m not sure what ‘mirding’ is? But it sounds like that last point was made up. Nobody is murdering newborns.

          • Alduin

            Typo. Yes Dems do support abortion up to birth read up turn off CNN.

          • Matt

            I think you need to stop watching far-right propaganda media.

    • MultiKdizzle

      Education eliminates people like this.

      • Alduin

        You’re the one who’s uneducated.

        • rodriguez256

          You sure about that? Did you ask every school system in the USA before coming to this conclusion? Because here in San Antonio Tx we sure learned about Stalin and the atrocities he committed under his rule. Y may want to change your comment to reflect new information you just acquired.

    • Adam

      Are you blonde haired and blue eyed by any chance? You know, part of the Aryan race? If not then you too would have been wiped out by Hitler. You are a fool of the highest order to believe Hitler was doing right by the world.

      • gambit gamboa

        Wiped out by blondies or raped out by raging chimps from the southern continent? Pick your poison.

        • Adam

          From Australia? Chimps aren’t native to Australia SMH 🤦🏻‍♂️

          • gambit gamboa

            Australia isnt the only southern continent, I guess you are from the south too LOL.

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  • kachuks

    If you haven’t thrown people into concentration camps, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

    If your mom and dad did, you should feel sh**ty about it.

    If you’re grandpa and grandma did, you have the right to not blame yourself.

    • TheAmerican2point0

      If you didn’t do it and have any part in it then you shouldn’t feel guilty about it period. It’s not someone’s fault what their parents did, so I don’t get your point

  • ksegg

    When did we as a society become such a bunch of over sensitive pansies that get offended at everything.


    And if we want to talk atrocities, every American seems to forget the systematic genocide of Native Americans while stealing all their land, slavery, Civil Rights atrocities done against African Americans, Japanese Internment Camps, etc.

    People seem to focus only on what the Nazi’s did and forget that almost every country engaged in crimes against humanity at some point in their history.

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