The disturbing revelations about the Quandt dynasty, which became a major BMW shareholder in 1960, are contained in an independent 1,200-page study commissioned by the family in 2007 after its ruthless Nazi-era business practices were exposed in a German television documentary. BMW was not implicated in the report.
"The Quandts were linked inseparably with the crimes of the Nazis," Joachim Scholtyseck, the Bonn historian who compiled and researched the study, concludes at the end of his report published this week. "The family patriarch was part of the regime."
Mr Scholtyseck established that Günther Quandt and his son Herbert, who both headed the dynasty during the Third Reich, willingly collaborated with the Nazi regime by employing an estimated 50,000 forced labourers in its arms factories. An average of 80 slave labourers per month died at Quandt factories and many were executed. » | Tony Paterson in Berlin | Thursday, September 29, 2011