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BMW clan gives R54m to Nazi fund

2011-11-07 07:34

MAKING AMENDS: The Quandt family has pledged the equivalent of R54-million to a memorial honouring forced workers under Nazi Germany rule.

Germany's Quandt family, a major shareholder in BMW, has pledged more than five-million euros (about R54-million) to a memorial for forced labourers in Nazi Germany, media reported on Sunday.

The Quandt family, one of Germany's richest, benefited under Nazi rule from using forced labour in its factories, including Jews rounded up from concentration camps.

In August Stefan Quandt, a member of BMW's board of directors, visited a former Nazi forced labour camp which also supplied workers to a battery factory operated by the Quandt family at the time, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.


Quandt said he was "very impressed" by the memorial centre and told the newspaper: "The documentation centre... is exemplary in the important task to remember forced labour under National Socialism."

The donation is Germany's largest individual private contribution yet for historical purposes, according to Bild am Sonntag.

Stefan Quandt's grandfahter Guenther is thought to have exploited up to 50 000 forced labourers and to have profited from laws making it easy to buy up Jewish-owned businesses in Nazi Germany.

In an earlier interview, Quandt said his grandfather had gone beyond what could be considered the deeds of "an "honourable businessman".

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