BERLIN (AP) – One of the richest families in Germany, whose company holds a majority stake in Krispy Kreme Donuts, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger and other well-known companies, plans to donate to works Charitable after having learned the enthusiastic support of their Adolf Hitler ancestors and the use of forced labor under the Nazis, according to a report released Sunday.
In a four-page report, the Bild newspaper reported that documents discovered in Germany, France and the United States reveal that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers.
Family spokesman Peter Harf, who is one of the two managing partners of Reimann's holding company JAB Holding, said recent internal research has confirmed Bild's findings.
"It's all right," he told the newspaper. "Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty … they belonged to the prison."
The father and son, who died in 1954 and 1984, did not talk about the Nazi era and the family had thought that all of the company's links with the Nazis had been revealed in a report from 1978, said Harf.
But after reading documents kept by the family, the younger generation started asking questions and commissioned a historian from the University of Munich in 2014 to take a closer look at Reimann's story. said Harf.
The expert presented his preliminary findings to Reimann's children and grandchildren, as well as to Hanf, several weeks ago, he said.
"We were all ashamed and became as white as the wall," he said. "There is nothing to hide, these crimes are disgusting."
Besides Krispy Kreme Donuts and Ready To Eat, the Luxembourg company JAB Holding Co. holds majority stakes in Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co., Panera Bread and other companies.
Many German companies have admitted to using slave labor during the Nazi period and have conducted their own independent investigations.
In 2000, the German government approved a compensation fund of an amount of 10 billion euros (about 5.1 billion euros), half of which came from companies like Bayer, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Daimler-Benz, Volkswagen and AEG.
Bild reported that even before the arrival of the Nazis in power, the Reimann had donated to the paramilitary SS.
During the Second World War, the company used forced laborers in its industrial chemicals business. Bild explained that in 1943, 175 forced laborers were used, or about 30% of his workforce.
In addition to Russian civilians and other civilians from Eastern Europe, the company resorted to French prisoners of war – of which Reimann Jr. complained in a letter to the mayor of Ludwigshafen in 1940 that they were not working hard enough.
After the war, the two Allied powers investigated the two Allied powers. At first, the French forbade them to continue their commercial activities, but the judgment was annulled by the Americans, reported Bild.
Harf said the family would give 10 million euros ($ 11.3 million) to a charity yet to be determined, which would be a gesture, and once the historian 's report ended, it would be made public.
"The whole truth has to be put on the table," he said.
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