Volkswagen CEO Apologizes for Invoking Nazi Slogan at Company Event

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess apologized Thursday for using a phrase that appeared to echo the Nazi slogan infamously emblazoned on the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp, BBC News reports. At a company event this week, Diess said the phrase “EBIT macht frei,” which is extremely similar to the Nazi-popularized phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei.” “Arbeit Macht Frei” means “work will set you free”; EBIT is a popular business acronym for “earnings before interest and taxes.” Diess said in a statement cited by BBC News that he regretted what was “definitely an unfortunate choice of words,” and argued that “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.”