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Wolfsburg, 17 June 2008 – On Monday, representatives from Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft went to the Auschwitz Memorial site to officially present a T5 Caravelle to the International Auschwitz Committee. The vehicle will be used at the memorial to drive around the youngsters working there to help maintain the site, as well as being put to other valuable uses. Among the young people there are Volkswagen apprentices and management trainees.
“Visits to and work assignments and discussions at the memorial site are part of the programme for apprentices at Volkswagen,” explains Dr Horst Neumann, the board member of Volkswagen AG responsible for HR. “Starting today, we will be extending this offer to management trainees and forepersons as well. Taking an interest in and examining history helps to strengthen social competency and is part of the social responsibility which every individual should accept.”
Bernd Wehlauer, deputy chairman of the Volkswagen Group Works Council, said that, “The combined efforts of VW apprentices and Polish youth to maintain the Auschwitz Memorial site have been a tradition for more than 20 years now.” Wehlauer also met with the first group of management trainees involved in the programme in Auschwitz. “In addition to wanting to assume responsibility within the company, they demonstrate the courage to come face to face with history,” Wehlauer commented. “In my eyes that is exemplary conduct and a critical building block in the biography of a future leader of others. We plan to give a second group of aspiring managers the opportunity to come to Auschwitz before year-end. To my knowledge, Volkswagen is the only enterprise to offer a programme of this kind.” He was happy, he added, that VW’s commitment at Auschwitz had now been expanded under participation of the company’s chief HR officer, Horst Neumann.
Neumann and Wehlauer and a group of apprentices and management trainees laid ceremonial wreaths at the site in honour of the victims of Nazi persecution.