in a like manner seem to have been left out of this case by Jewishlawyers concerned only for Jews
and in violation of Jewish false pro-pluralistic views
Germany's biggest car maker Volkswagen AG announced on Fridayit was establishing a 20-million-mark ($11.87 million) relieffund ending a more than 50-year battle by former slaves.
The company says it has already provided 25 million marks since1988 for humanitarian projects in the home countries of formerslaves. Hoping to make a clean break with the past, Volkswagensaid the fund would be its final gesture.
"That is a good start and a fine sum of money," saidKlaus von Muenchhausen, who represents about 150 Jewish Holocaustsurvivors in Israel, who were forced to work for the car maker.
Historians say VW bought some 7,000 slaves from Hitler's SSelite force between 1941 and 1945. Their work included buildingmines, V1 rockets and anti-tank launchers.
"Volkswagen had no permanent workforce and relied on foreignlabour," said the revered German historian Hans Mommsen,who wrote a study of Volkswagen's use of slave labour that waspublished in 1996.
"As many as three quarters of its staff were foreigners,most slave labourers," he said, adding that VW's slaves werebrought from 13 countries, including the Soviet Union, Poland,France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Only a handful were death camp Jews, who survived by usingtheir expertise as engineers and skilled workers.
Mommsen said workers from western Europe, such as studentsfrom occupied Netherlands and French prisoners of war, were treatedbest. Slavs, who were regarded as racially inferior and only seenfit to serve their German "masters", were treated worse.
As part of the Nazis' drive to create an "Aryan"master race, Jews were regarded as unfit to live and earmarkedfor death by the Nazi policy of "Extermination through Work".
Overworked, underfed, with scant time off and penned in crampedwooden barracks, many workers died under the appalling conditions.
"They worked 14 hours a day, they were deprived of foodrations if they did not fulfil targets," Mommsen said.
Historians say Nazi slaves were beaten, subjected to ritualhumiliation and in some cases summary execution for minor offences.Poles were forced to wear a sign marked "P" pinned totheir chests, according to a VW slaves' lobby group.
Volkswagen was founded in 1938 to build the "Volkswagen"or People's Car, inspired by Henry Ford's revolutionary assemblyline production techniques in the United States of which AdolfHitler was a great admirer.
War broke out a year later and only about 55,000 models ofthe trademark "Beetle" models had been produced by theend of the war, as nearly the entire company had switched to armsproduction for Hitler's war.
To fill the arms industry's insatiable demand for workers,an army of foreign slaves-- some 12 million people-- were roundedup and deported from across Nazi-occupied lands that stretchedfrom Norway to North Africa to Nazi Germany.
VW slaves had lobbied for years for compensation and held protestsoutside the headquarters in Wolfsburg-- which the Nazis originallynamed "Stadt des Wagens der Kraft durch Freude" meaning"Town of the Car of Strength through Joy".
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