Continental, one of many worlds largest car components producers, ended up being a pillar regarding the nazi war effort and exploited about 10,000 forced labourers, based on a report commissioned because of the german company.
The 870-page research found that continental had been probably one of the most important vendors to your third reich, manufacturing vehicle and plane tyres, including track pads for tanks, hoses, hydraulic brake system and accuracy tools for v-1 cruise missiles.
The dax-listed team initially commissioned the report by professional historian paul erker in 2015, but has actually lagged behind several other major german businesses in examining their particular role throughout the nazi era. daimler, bmw, and supplier zf have been the subject of comparable reports, while volkswagen started investigating its role in nazi war work inside 1980s.
The research reveals thatcontinentalwas a significant part of hitlers war machine, stated chief executive elmar degenhart, just who included the study ended up being required in order to get more quality towards darkest part in our companys history.
Continentals report, produced by mr erker of munichs ludwig maximilian university, unearthed that in 1930s the companys executive board had welcomed the nazi seizure of power with euphoria, and expunged jewish members of its supervisory board, in a process of aryanisation.
The companys wartime chief executive fritz knecke, which later on continued to be the boss of mercedes-owner daimler in the 1950s, ended up being opportunistic, as well as most readily useful ambivalent about collaboration utilizing the nazi regime, the analysis concluded.
Mr erker, who has got written records of companies including bosch, unearthed that towards end associated with war, workers obligated to perform tasks such as for instance testing the soles of shoes were exploited and maltreated to the point of debilitation and death.
Focus camp prisoners, who were employed for producing gasoline masks, were afflicted by inhumane lifestyle and dealing circumstances, the report added.
At a hit seminar on thursday, continental, which examined the wartime roles of companies it has acquired over the past few years, said it had tried to get a hold of survivors for the required labour, however they had all passed away.
Continental joined the evz foundation, which was set-up to pay forced labourers, in the 1990s, and mr degenhart stated the group had added a two-digit million add up to the organisations investment.
But the 61-year-old, that has been in charge of continental for more than 10 years, added that the organization was not merely drawing a range under the last.
The results associated with research would be incorporated into continentals staff training programmes, which the producer would sponsor an educational grant for study into german business record through the nazi age.
Whenever asked the reason why continental ended up being relatively late in commissioning a report into its last, mr degenhart conceded it absolutely was overdue, but added: we cant speak for previous administration, and dont like to reproach them.
He urged various other german businesses who have not however done so to examine their archives.
Any company that features maybe not confronted its part ever sold have to do therefore, the former bosch and schaeffler exec stated, worrying that a better knowledge of the crimes of the past had been instructive to current managers.
Personally ask myself the question: basically was because scenario, exactly how would i act?