Speed Reads

revealing the past

A German company will donate 10 million euros to charity after learning of its Nazi past

A German "industrial dynasty" is coming to terms with its past, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday, per BBC.

The Reimann family, whose holding firm JAB owns a controlling interest in global chains such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread, and Pret a Manger, said that Bild's report that their ancestors enthusiastically supported Adolf Hitler and his Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party when they controlled Germany before and during World War II is true. The Reimann family also used war prisoners as forced laborers during Hitler's time in power and female slaves were beaten and sexually abused on Reimann premises in German-occupied Eastern Europe.

A spokesperson for the Reimann family said that the Reimanns who were in charge at the time, a father and son, belonged in prison. The two reportedly never talked about their association with the Nazis, keeping the current leadership of the Reimann family in the dark.

As compensation for the family's past crimes, the Reimanns will reportedly donate 10 million euros, or about $11.3 million, to a "suitable" charity organization.

The Reimanns are far from the only major German business power whose legacy is tarnished by its Nazi past — prominent global companies like Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, and Bayer all have acknowledged using forced laborers during Hitler's reign and paid similar reparations.