Muffti has an update on the VW-Wannabe Suicide Bomber-Spoof story. Apparently, Dan Brooks and Lee Ford, the creators of the ad
wussed out tendered an apology for their creation. The letter apparently said:
“The creators regret the distribution of the film, will not publicize it further and apologize unreservedly for the damage caused to Volkswagen.”
VW, in turn, dropped the legal action they were threatening against the two. The lawsuit was based on “an attack on Volkswagen’s good name.” While Muffti isn’t exactly sure how their name was harmed by the commercial, he does know that the good name is a recent invention. Volkswagen’s war time use of slave labour is a part of that good name.
For more information, check out a rather longish book by Hans Mommsen and Manfred Grieger, called Das Volkswagenwerk und seine Arbeiter im Dritten Reich. They describe the role played by Ferdinand Porsche and his firm in Third Reich Germany and the treatment meted out during that period to workers of all origins forced into working in the factories. I know of no translation. Furthermore, according to The Straight Dope:
In 1991 the head of the investigative team, Bochum University history professor Hans Mommsen, declared at a symposium, “It’s quite clear that Porsche was responsible for hiring concentration camp inmates for the factory’s labor camp.” Porsche contacted SS leader Heinrich Himmler directly to request slaves from Auschwitz, Mommsen said.
It should be noted that the investigation was commissioned by Volkswagen itself. The company has dedicated a stone memorial to the slave laborers at its headquarters in Wolfsburg…