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Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft commissioned an expert opinion to clarify the Group's role during the military dictatorship in Brazil. Executive management named the independent and highly-respected historian Prof. Dr. Christopher Kopper of the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology at Bielefeld University to carry out this research. The company also reaffirmed there will be a new appointment to the post of Head of Historical Communications which is currently vacant.
Kopper will commence his scientific work as soon as possible and will also travel to Brazil for that purpose. Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, Board of Management Member responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs, commented: "We will clarify the company's role during the military dictatorship in Brazil with the requisite consistency and perseverance in the same manner as we engaged in the early and comprehensive clarification of issues relating to the National Socialist past and the employment of forced labor." She went on to say: "We want to shed light on the dark years of the military dictatorship and explain the behavior of those responsible at that time in Brazil and, if applicable, Germany."
Kopper will report regularly to an internal committee on the progress of his research. The findings of the expert opinion will then be made available to the wider public. It will probably take about one year to complete the research project.
At the same time, the company reaffirmed there would be a new appointment to the post of Head of Historical Communications which is currently vacant. Several possibilities are being reviewed at the present time. Hans-Gerd Bode, Head of Group Communications, stated: "The Volkswagen Group continues to engage with its historical responsibility. Historical Communications plays a very important role in this context. That was never in doubt."