One of Germany's wealthiest families, the Reimanns, with an estimated net worth of €33 billion and with shares in such companies such as Pret a Manger and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, will donate €10 million to charity after newly emerged evidence revealed that their ancestors backed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, Bild reported on Sunday. Bagels profited from the horrors of the Nazi regime, according to a report in a German newspaper.
The Reimanns own a majority interest in companies like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Clearasil, Calgon, Panera Bread, Keurig Green Mountain, and more, and operate under JAB Holding Company out of Berlin, Germany.
Family spokesman Peter Harf, who is one of two managing partners of the Reimann's JAB Holding Company, said recent internal research confirmed Bild's findings.
The report noted that Albert Reimann Sr. and his son, Albert Reimann Jr., "used Russian civilians and French POWs as forced laborers". "The two men have passed away, but they actually belonged in prison".
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Reimann Sr. died in 1954.
Reimann Jr. once complained to the mayor of Ludwigshafen, where the family had an industrial chemicals company, that the French prisoners of war weren't working hard enough, Deutsche Welle reported.
Harf said that the family planned to donate 10 million euros (11.3 million USD) once the complete report is released.
This comes after the Reimanns made a decision to hire historians from the University of Munich in 2014 to study the issue after they found family documents dating back to the times of Nazi rule.
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Many German companies have acknowledged using slave laborers during the Nazi era and have conducted their own independent investigations.
"It is about an overall story also in the industry context, but in which the subject of forced labor plays a central role", Erker said.
"We were all ashamed and turned as white as the wall", Harf said.
According to the AFP, the company employed as many as 175 forced laborers, and produced items for the Nazi military and weapons industry.
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"The whole truth must be put on the table", he said.