Audi’s nazi concentration camp past


This video is called HD Stock Footage: WWII German Atrocities in Concentration Camps.

From the Daily Mail in England:

Audi employed thousands of concentration camp inmates during Second World War and was ‘firmly ensnared’ in Nazi regime, shocking investigation finds

Firm hired 3,700 concentration camp inmates in deal brokered by the SS

Another 16,500 labourers also forced to work in Auto Union plants

New study was commissioned by Audi in ‘house cleaning’ exercise

Many workers were forced to live in unheated barracks, report finds

Disabled employees shipped north to be executed, according to historians

By Allan Hall in Berlin

Published: 16:18 GMT, 26 May 2014 | Updated: 18:36 GMT, 26 May 2014

Car giant Audi employed thousands of concentration camp inmates during the Second World War and was ‘firmly ensnared’ in the Nazi regime, an investigation has found.

During the war years Audi was known as Group Auto Union and, in a deal brokered by the SS, hired 3,700 concentration camp inmates to work in what was then Germany’s second biggest car firm.

The academic study also revealed another 16,500 forced laborers, who were not imprisoned in concentration camps, were working in Auto Union plants.

Authors of the study, economic historian Rudolf Boch of the University of Chemnitz, and Martin Kukowski, head of the Department of history at Audi, were granted access to the Audi archives for the first time for their ‘house cleaning’ history of the firm.

Their book, Wartime Economy And Labour Usage Of Auto Union Chemnitz AG During The Second World War, centres on the firm, which was the only serious competitor to Mercedes during the 12 year lifespan of the Third Reich, with a 20 percent market share for luxury cars.

During the war some of the plants were turned over to military production, churning out tanks and air-craft engines.

The 500 page report claims that Auto Union – now Volkswagen’s luxury marque Audi – built its success on the back of human misery and suffering, and that founder Dr Richard Bruhn was largely responsible for the firm’s large-scale exploitation of forced labour.

‘More than 20,000 forced laborers were used in the production of Auto Union in their Saxon works, including almost one-fifth from concentration camps,’ said the study authors.

Conditions in the concentration camp in the city of Zwickau, where many workers were held, were particularly appalling with 1,000 prisoners – many of them forced labourers from France – living in unheated barracks.

‘The conditions were devastating,’ said the historians.

The researchers also discovered that disabled workers were shipped north to the Flossenburg concentration camp to be executed, and their numbers replaced with prisoners from that camp.

Towards the end of the war, 688 Zwickau inmates were sent on a death march to Karlovy Vary, now in the Czech Republic, with almost half of them dying on the way.

Audi recognised its wartime guilt in using forced labour more a decade ago, paying massive amounts into the £3billion fund which German industry set up to compensate Nazi slave workers and their descendants.

The company was founded in 1932 following a merger of four car makers, and dropped the Auto Union name after a further merger in 1985.

It is the last of the large German car makers to commission a study into its wartime past, with Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW already having done so.

See also here. And here.

Dr Oetker’s nazi past: here.

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11 thoughts on “Audi’s nazi concentration camp past

  1. Audi, and all or most German industrial firms and companies would have to support the German regime, the Germans were under pressure to catch up with other colonist countries, such as a major power as the British imperialism regime, as we look at British history similar acts of cruelty and oppression would be the order of the day, just to look at Captain Cook, a nice enough example of a product of the British expansionist policy, a look at the atrocities of Aboriginals of Australia, and Cooks contribution and also by those who we presume were innocent as a cultural phenomena of oppression contributing all to a world lacking compassion and this program is still alive today except it is all to subtle to notice by those who are in power keeping the flame of oppression alive and also those who are too conditioned to know better.

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  2. Reblogged this on Rob Prince's Blog and commented:
    This is raw footage shot by U.S. military photographers of Nazi concentration camps at the moment of liberation in 1945. I have seen like footage before, visited several camps – Buchenwald, Sachenhausen – (although it was years ago) – but I found this film striking, the power of black and white photography is there in every scene…it emphasizes all the victims of Nazism from all over Europe – even a few Americans. I watched the first twenty minutes of it and will watch the rest tomorrow. It says a lot that what in the 19th century was one of the most cultured and liberal countries in Europe – or anywhere else – could turn into modern day barbarians shortly thereafter. The Germans are not the only ones… they killed with gas, in the post war period others killed with napalm, phosphorus bombs, drones, For those of you think that Americans are incapable of such savagery I recommend Nick Turse’s “Kill Everything That Moves” about the U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, or pretty much anything about the French war against Algeria (1954-1962)….Cheers, RJP…

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