Volkswagen on Tuesday announced a commitment of one million dollars to the Anti-Defamation League to strengthen its anti-bias education efforts and help fight anti-Semitism.
The president/CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Jonathan Browning, made the announcement last week (Nov. 8) at an ADL awards dinner in the Waldorf-Astoria.
National director Abraham Foxman presented the automotive giant Volkswagen with the ADL International Leadership Award. He also honored a German mediator, Gerhard Conrad, for his diplomatic efforts to secure the release of IDF Sgt. Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped by Hamas five years ago.
“Our partnership with Volkswagen is so important,” Foxman said, “because it enables us to expand our horizons and our reach.
Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the U.S., converses with Henry Kissinger who’s a native of Germany.
“This is a company that early on looked at itself in the mirror in terms of providing restitution to those Holocaust survivors who suffered as slave laborers. It has also looked to the future, being the first major European company to invest in Israel and its single largest European investor.”
As an example he cited Volkswagen’s investment of $500 million in 1995 to establish a magnesium production facility at the Dead Sea.
The German ambassador to the United States, Peter Ammon, accepted the ADL Paul Ehrlich-Gunther K. Schwerin Human Rights Award on behalf of Gerhard Conrad who was not present.
“The United States and Germany have to stand together if you want tolerance and equality,” Ammon said.
He quoted German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Israel’s security is part of our raison d’etre.”
Henry Kissinger recalled when he was secretary of state and national security advisor at the same time. “Never before and never since have relations between the State Department and the White House been so cordial.”
Among the 625 black-tie guests were Fox News anchor Uma Pemmaraju, Gossip Girls Kelli Rutherford, pollster Zev Furst, Rabbi Hank Sheinkopf, Matthew HiItzig, Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski of Canada, German Consul General Busso von Alvensleben, Ambassador Casare Maria Ragalini of Italy, and Ambassador Witold Sobkow of Poland.