Germany’s Quandt family, heirs to a fortune including a stake in Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), have accepted the involvement of their forefathers with Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists, Die Zeit reported in the first interview with family members to discuss their Nazi past.
Gabriele Quandt, whose grandfather Guenther employed an estimated 50,000 forced laborers in his arms factories and acquired companies through the Nazis’ program of “Aryanization,” said it was wrong for the family to ignore this chapter of its history, according to Die Zeit.
An independent study by Bonn-based historian Joachim Scholtyseck, commissioned by the family, concluded that Guenther Quandt and his son Herbert were responsible for Nazi injustices, the newspaper said.
Herbert Quandt was “part of the system,” son Stefan Quandt is cited as saying. The family still plans to award the Herbert Quandt Media Prize because of the “values he conferred” in the ensuing four decades “that made him very much a role model for me,” Stefan Quandt is quoted as saying.