Herbert Diess, the chief executive of Volkswagen, is facing calls to step down
The chief executive of Volkswagen is facing calls to resign after an astonishing gaffe in which he appeared to riff on a Nazi death camp slogan.
Herbert Diess apologised on Thursday for a speech at a company event in which he repeatedly told VW employees: “EBIT macht frei”.
The phrase appears to be a play on “Arbeit macht frei” — work makes you free — a notorious Nazi slogan that was inscribed over the entrance to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
EBIT is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest and Tax, a key indicator of a company’s profit.
No German audience would fail to spot the reference to Auschwitz, where more than a million people were murdered by the Nazis — the overwhelming majority…