The German family behind many well-known brands including Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Panera Bread admitted that their Nazi ancestors used slave labor during World War II.
“It is all correct,” said Reimann family spokesman Peter Harf. “There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting,” he told the German outlet Bild, according to reports.
The Reimann family owns the controlling stake in JAB Holdings and is reportedly one of the richest families in Germany, as CNN reports. The family will be donating $11 million to an undisclosed charity in response to what happened, Harf said.
According to Harf, Albert Reimann Sr., who died in 1954, and Albert Reimann Jr., who died in 1984, used Russian civilian prisoners and French prisoners of war as forced labor in their factories during the war.
A three-year investigation discovered details of their ancestors’ behavior. The investigation found that Reimann Sr. donated to Hitler’s paramilitary SS force as early as 1931. Investigators also found a letter from Reimann Jr. to a local mayor, in which he complained that the French prisoners of war were not working hard enough and should be put in prison.
“Reimann Senior and Reimann Junior were guilty. The two businessmen have passed away, but they actually belonged in prison,” said Haft.