One of Germany’s richest families says it plans to give millions of euros to charity after learning about ancestors who enthusiastically supported the Nazis and used forced labor.
The Bild newspaper reported Sunday that documents revealed Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers.
Family spokesman Peter Harf, who heads the Reimann’s JAB Holding Company, says recent internal research confirmed Bild’s findings.
He says the family never spoke of the Nazi era but the evidence shows “It is all correct,” he told the newspaper. “Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty … they belonged in jail.”
“We were all ashamed and turned as white as the wall,” he said. “There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting.”
Harf says the heirs plan to publish the research and donate €10 million ($11.3 million) to charity.
JAB has controlling stakes in restaurant chain Pret a Manger, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Peet’s Coffee and other businesses.