Continental, the worlds biggest vehicle parts producers, was a pillar regarding the nazi war effort and exploited about 10,000 required labourers, based on a research commissioned because of the german business.
The 870-page research unearthed that continental had been perhaps one of the most important suppliers into third reich, manufacturing automobile and aircraft tyres, along with track pads for tanks, hoses, hydraulic brakes and precision tools for v-1 cruise missiles.
The dax-listed group first commissioned the report by professional historian paul erker in 2015, but has actually lagged behind other major german companies in examining their particular part throughout the nazi era. daimler, bmw, and provider zf have now been the subject of comparable reports, while volkswagen began examining its part when you look at the nazi war work inside 1980s.
The research reveals thatcontinentalwas an important part of hitlers war machine, said chief executive elmar degenhart, whom included your research ended up being required being gain more clarity about the darkest part in our companys record.
Continentals report, made by mr erker of munichs ludwig maximilian university, unearthed that in 1930s the companys executive board had welcomed the nazi seizure of energy with euphoria, and expunged jewish members of its supervisory board, in an ongoing process of aryanisation.
The companys wartime chief executive fritz knecke, who later on continued to become the employer of mercedes-owner daimler when you look at the 1950s, ended up being opportunistic, and also at best ambivalent about collaboration utilizing the nazi regime, the research concluded.
Mr erker, having written records of businesses including bosch, unearthed that towards the end associated with war, workers obligated to perform tasks such as testing the bottoms of footwear had been exploited and maltreated to the level of debilitation and death.
Focus camp prisoners, have been employed for the production of gas masks, were subjected to inhumane living and working circumstances, the report added.
At a press meeting on thursday, continental, that also examined the wartime roles of businesses it offers obtained in the last couple of years, stated it had tried to find survivors regarding the required labour, nevertheless they had all died.
Continental joined up with the evz foundation, that was set-up to pay forced labourers, in the 1990s, and mr degenhart said the group had contributed a two-digit million amount to the organisations investment.
Nevertheless the 61-year-old, who has been responsible for continental for over 10 years, added the organization wasn't merely drawing a line under the past.
The findings associated with research will be included into continentals staff education programmes, and therefore producer would sponsor an educational scholarship for study into german corporate record throughout the nazi age.
When asked why continental had been relatively late in commissioning a study into its past, mr degenhart conceded it had been overdue, but included: i cant speak for previous administration, and dont like to reproach all of them.
He urged other german companies with maybe not however done this to examine their own archives.
Any organization which have maybe not confronted its role of all time must do so, the former bosch and schaeffler professional stated, worrying that a closer comprehension of the crimes of history were instructive to existing supervisors.
Personally ask myself issue: if i had been because circumstance, how would we behave?