VW asks historian to research role under Brazil dictatorship

BERLIN – German automaker Volkswagen AG says it has commissioned a historian to research its role during Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Volkswagen has faced accusations that it collaborated with the military regime and drew up black lists on employees.

The company said in a statement Thursday that Christopher Kopper, a history professor at Bielefeld University in Germany, has been commissioned to “clarify” what role it played.

It said that Kopper will start “as soon as possible” and will travel to Brazil. The project should take about a year and VW said the findings will be made public.

VW board member Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt said: “We want to shed light on the dark years of the military dictatorship and explain the behaviour of those responsible at that time in Brazil and, if applicable, Germany.”