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German companies strengthen opposition to antisemitism

Words by Smiley Team

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, five prominent German companies have reinforced their efforts to tackle antisemitism and racism.  

Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, Borussia Dortmund and Daimler, held an online commemoration at which they announced a joint declaration against antisemitism and racism. 

The event was run in collaboration with Freundeskreis Yad Vashem, a research and educational organisation focused on remembering victims of the Holocaust.

Together the companies committed to tackling antisemitism and racism, opposing right-wing extremism, fostering diversity and offering equal opportunities.

Chairman at Deutsche Bank Paul Achleitner said: "Crises often awaken the best in people, but sometimes also the worst. It is up to us to keep history and its lessons alive. As Deutsche Bank, we, therefore, see it as our duty to stand up for diversity and tolerance, participation and democracy with our employees every day anew."

United in celebrating diversity

The importance of corporate efforts at creating inclusivity cannot be underestimated. In holding the commemoration and making a strong public stance against antisemitism, the participants hope that they would encourage other companies and organizations will follow their suit.

Member of Volkswagen’s board of management Gunnar Kilian said: "A global outlook internally and externally is the raw material without which we companies cannot be successful. Diversity in our workforce and in our environment enriches us each and every day. Racism, exclusion, hatred and incitement must not be allowed to poison our behaviour and our corporate culture. 

“Volkswagen has a long-standing educational programme for its trainees which takes place at Auschwitz. 76 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must not allow antisemitism, populist hatred and right-wing extremist ideology a voice either in our society or in the world."

Hoping to inspire more companies to follow their example, Chairman of Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e.V. Kai Diekmann explained: "Corporate commitment in the fight against antisemitism and extremism is more important than ever before. 

“That is why we are particularly pleased that BVB, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen have adopted the IHRA's definition of antisemitism and are taking a visible joint stance in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination. This is an important and clear sign both for Germany and the whole world."

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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