One of Germany's richest families is facing a disturbing past. The family that owns a controlling stake in Krispy Kreme Donuts and Panera Bread will, among other things, donate $ 11 million to charity after being told that their ancestors were strong supporters of Adolf Hitler and largely used power.
The family announced their planned charitable donation after the Bild newspaper published a report showing how Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II. The Reimann family, which has an estimated wealth of € 33 billion, or $ 37 billion, did not dispute the results of the newspaper report. "It's all right," said spokesman Peter Harf, to the newspaper. "Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty … they belonged to prison."
The family had already looked at the issue before the newspaper's report. Reimann senior, who died in 1954, and his son, who died in 1984, never talked about the company's past and the family was apparently under the impression that it already knew about its Nazi ties. But they began to suspect that there could be more to the story and in 2014 a historian ordered to investigate family history. The historian presented the conclusion a few weeks ago. "We were all ashamed and became as white as the wall," says Harf, who is one of two leading partners in JAB Holding Company. "There is nothing to shine on. These crimes are disgusting."
The Luxembourg JAB Holding Company also has controlling efforts in Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee and among others Pret a Manger.
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