On October 31, voestalpine opens the Historical Exhibit 1938-1945 at its Linz headquarters. The exhibit is dedicated to the forced laborers of the NS regime working for the Reichswerke Hermann Göring AG Berlin at the voestalpine site in Linz. As a new section of voestalpine Stahlwelt, from November 3 onwards this permanent public exhibit will constitute a place of remembrance in Linz for the forced labor during the NS regime. “It was a painful learning process to look into the years of National Socialism from 1938 to 1945, and at the same time to accept that this was the period in which our company history starts. However, there is no alternative to the historical truth,” says Dr. Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of voestalpine AG, explaining the Group’s responsibility to face up to its own past.
The idea for this exhibit was triggered by Austria’s largest post-war historical discovery: more than 38,000 personnel files and salary slips dating back to the National Socialist period. These documents formed the basis for a research project into the company’s history, throwing new light onto the inhuman history of forced labor at the Hermann Göring Werke. The voestalpine Group commissioned an independent team of scientists with the project, and the results were published in a two volume work in 2001. Together with recent findings, these results form the basis for the permanent exhibit at voestalpine Group headquarters in Linz. Consequently, the historical exhibit is another key part of the Group’s coming to terms with its NS past. The process started in 2001 with the setting up of the voestalpine Corporate History and Documentation Center which undertakes numerous research and documentation activities in this field. voestalpine is the first Austrian company to dedicate a permanent exhibit to the subject of forced labor.