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VW Slaves

In light of all the acquisitions made by VW lately, I thought the below
was timely.  

Boy, when VAG is in the news, they are really in the news.  

No religious, financial, spiritual, political, moral, amoral or immoral

Volkswagen to set up WWII slave-labor fund

By Paul Gallagher 

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG, the German car maker
founded under Hitler's Nazi regime, said on Tuesday it would set up a
fund for World War Two slave laborers, weeks after rejecting a planned
damages claim by 30 Jewish wartime workers. 

The company, established in 1938 to produce the "People's car," said
last month it could not be held legally responsible for compensating
people forced by the National Socialists to work for it without wages.  

VW said on Tuesday that its board of management had decided to establish
a private fund to offer "humanitarian help to individual victims who
were forced to work in the years 1945-45" at the company's Wolfsburg

Around 7,000 people were pressed into unpaid labor for VW during World
War Two, according to VW spokesman Bernd Graef. VW was one of around
12,000 German firms to use slave labor during the Third Reich, he added.

In total, Hitler's armaments minister Albert Speer is estimated to have
pressed more than 12 million foreign slave laborers into work. 

VW's plan to create the fund was in recognition of "historic and moral
duties toward slave laborers who worked for Volkswagen AG during the
Second World War," the company said in a statement. 

A spokesman for Gerhard Schroeder, the opposition Social Democrat Party
(SDP) candidate for chancellor who is also a VW supervisory board
member, welcomed the company's initiative. 

Last month Schroeder, who is premier of Germany's state of Lower Saxony,
urged German industrial firms which had used slave labor during the war
to contribute to such a fund. 

VW's decision was a step in the right direction, Schroeder's Lower
Saxony government spokesman Uwe Karste Heye said on Tuesday. 

VW said it would release further details about its plans by the middle
of September.  

The company had made "charitable" payments and donations to
organizations in the past, it said. 

VW, the world's fourth largest automobile company, said in June that
compensation claims by former slave laborers should be directed at the
German state. 

The German government insisted in November, however, that compensation
demands for slave labor under the Nazi regime were no longer valid, but
other reparation claims could be made. 

In December Germany's IG Metall metal workers' union singled out
Germany's biggest industrial company, Daimler-Benz AG, and electronics
and auto parts maker Robert Bosch as having profited from the use of
tens of thousands of slave laborers during the war. 

By the end of the war, Daimler had 25,000 enforced laborers working for
it, the union said. 

Electronics and engineering giant Siemens AG also faced protests from
former slave laborers at its 150th anniversary celebrations in Berlin
last year.