The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/german/daimler-benz/daimler.001

Archive/File: holocaust/germany daimler.001
Last-Modified: 1994/06/06

Victoria (B.C.) Times-Colonist
June 4, 1994 (A11)


The German industrial giant Daimler-Benz forced tens of thousands of
foreigners to work as slaves during the Second World War as it helped power
the Nazi war machine, says a book published Friday.

The tens of thousands of forced workers included prisoners of war and
concentration-camp victims. Several hundred died of malnutrition and
disease, say the authors of 'Forced Labor at Daimler-Benz.'

The laborers came from all across Europe, from Britain to the Soviet Union
and even a few from India, but most were East Europeans, whom the Nazis
considered second-class humans.

Daimler, famous for its Mercedes-Benz car, was one of the most important
arms-makers for the Third Reich. The company commissioned the book in 1986
as part of research for the 100th anniversary of the first car made by
founder Gottleib Daimler.

'Daimler-Benz consciously wants to take responsibility for its history
through this report,' the company said in a note accompanying the book.

The books authors - Barbara Hopmann, Mark Spoerer, Birgit Weitz and Beate
Bru"ninghau - interviewed 270 surviving larborers. Most spoke of filthy,
cramped barracks where disease and hunger were commonplace.

Volkswagon, Europe's largest carmaker, release a similar report three years
ago about its use jof slave labor during the war. Few other German companies
have been as candid.


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