The affluent German family business, which owns a controlling stake in Pret a Manger, admits that its ancestors were Hitler's supporters in forced labor and promises to donate £ 8.5 million to charity
- Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr used forced laborers to build fortunes
- The father and son, who died in 1954 and 1984, also supported Adolf Hitler
- The younger generation plans to donate £ 8.6 million to a charity
Albert Reimann Sr. (pictured) used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war to build up his fortune
One of the richest families in Germany claims to donate ten million euros to charity after learning of the enthusiastic support of her ancestors for Adolf Hitler and the use of forced laborers.
Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war to build their assets, as reported in the Bild newspaper in Germany.
According to family spokesman Peter Harf, managing partner of Reimann's JAB holding company, which owns a controlling stake in Krispy Kreme Donuts and Pret a Manger, this was confirmed by recent internal investigations.
"It's all right," he told the newspaper. Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty … they were in jail.
The father and son, who died in 1954 and 1984, did not talk about the Nazi era, and the family believed that the company's entire connection to the Nazis was revealed in a 1978 report, Harf said.
After reading documents kept by the family, the younger generation began asking questions and commissioned a historian from the University of Munich in 2014 to investigate the Reimann story more thoroughly.
The expert presented his preliminary results a few weeks ago to the Reimann children and grandchildren as well as hemp.
Reimann's JAB holding company owns a majority stake in Krispy Kreme Donuts
They also hold a controlling interest in Pret a Manger, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co., Panera Bread and other companies
"We were all ashamed and got as white as the wall," he said. "There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting. & # 39;
In addition to Krispy Kreme Donuts and Pret a Manger, Luxembourg-based JAB Holding Company holds shares in Keurig Green Mountain, Peets Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co., Panera Bread and others.
Many German companies have recognized the use of slave labor during the Nazi era and conducted their own independent investigations.
In 2000, the federal government approved a compensation fund of 10 billion euros (about 5.1 billion euros), with half of the money coming from companies such as Bayer, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Daimler-Benz, Volkswagen and AEG.
Even before the Nazis came to power, the Reimanns reportedly donated to the paramilitary SS.
Family spokesman Peter Harf, who heads Reimann's JAB holding company, said, "We were all ashamed and turned as white as the wall. There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting. & # 39;
During the Second World War, the company used forced laborers in its industrial chemicals company.
It was not clear how many were used in total, but it was reported that 175 forced laborers were employed in 1943, representing about 30 percent of the workforce.
In addition to Russian and other Eastern European civilians, the company used French prisoners of war, Reimann Jr. in a letter to the Ludwigshafen mayor complained in 1940 that they had not worked hard enough.
After the war, the two were investigated by the Allied forces and initially prohibited by the French to continue their business activities. However, the verdict was overturned by the Americans.
Harf said the family would donate ten million euros (8.5 million pounds) to an undecided charity. Once the historian's report is completed, it will be made public.
"The whole truth has to be put on the table," he said.