BMW's Quandt Family: Still No Apology for Slave Labor
Last September, German public TV aired a documentary about the Quandt family, the secretive clan that owns 46.6 percent of BMW. The film revealed that Günther Quandt had used slave laborers during WWII and convinced Nazi contacts to send a Belgian competitor to a concentration camp (after he refused to sell his company to Quandt). Responding to the first screening, the Quandt family said they were "profoundly touched" by the movie and promised to employ a historian to examine the family's history during the Third Reich. Spiegel reports that a re-screening last Thursday contains new material. Quandt biographer Rüdiger Jungbluth noted that no family member has ever apologized to the few remaining victims of Quandt's wartime labor camps. Carl-Adolf Soerensen, a former Danish resistance fighter, watched most of his 40 comrades perish at a Quandt factory. Soerensen said it would be easier to die in peace if the Quandts offered some words of regret. "The one time we tried to contact the heirs of Quandt, they were extremely arrogant. And since them, we have heard nothing but silence. They have not even acknowledged that their companies employed slave laborers… I don't need a historian to tell me what happened. Neither do the Quandts. I can meet them and show them what happened in their factory."