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Otto Köhler talks about Ferdinand Porsche

Otto Köhler talks about Ferdinand Porsche

german

|

35 min

| 2011 |

hits: 3366

December 3, 2012, Wolfsburg, Germany - During the conference 'Ferdinand Porsche - Ingenious Engineer of War Criminal?' Otto Köhler talked about Ferdinand Porsche and the forced labourers in the Volkswagen plant Porsche managed.

20,000 forced labourers were held in the plant, under conditions similar to those in concentration camps. Infants were taken away from their mothers and left in an orphanage where almost all died. As late as 1944, Porsche himself demanded 800 more forced labourers.

In his presentation Köhler discusses the role of the historian Hans Mommsen. Mommsen investigated the story of Volkswagen during the National Socialist era, together with a team of seven. After the research was finished Mommsen stated in 1991 that an individual compensation for forced labourers was not possible. According to Mommsen, general compensation payments to the detained workers would not be a suitable solution. He was "afraid of secondary forms of corruption".

Volkswagen owed forced labourers about 100 million Marks. In 1991, considering interest, this sum would be equal to 2 billion DM (German Marks). In 1991, Volkswagen agreed to pay 12 million DM for a youth community center in Poland as a form of "supra-individual compensation".

Not until 1996, when Mommsen published his book "Das Volkswagenwerk und seine Arbeiter im Dritten Reich" (The Volkswagen Plant and its Workers in the Third Reich), did Mommsen speak in favour of compensation for Volkswagen's forced labourers - when most of them had already died.

team: kanalB

Tags: vw, forced labour

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