BMW: The Dark Story of a German Dynasty

BMW: The Dark Story of a German Dynasty


BMW: one of the largest automobile companies
in Germany. For over a century, BMW has produced engines
and cars that have excelled in their respective industries. But, as with any German company that old,
there is a particular segment of BMW’s history that isn’t very ethical. Today, however, we won’t be looking at the
history of BMW itself. Instead, we’ll learn the much darker and
lesser known story of BMW’s largest shareholders: the Quandt family. Although the Quandt family is the richest
one in Germany today, even a century ago they were still among the most prominent industrialists. The source of their wealth dates back to World
War 1 and it’s thanks to this man: Günther Quandt. He was born to a family of textile manufacturers
in Brandenburg and had made a fortune selling uniforms to the German Empire during the First
World War. After the war, he used his wealth to acquire
many businesses that were struggling during the infamous hyperinflation. In the span of just ten years Günther expanded
his textile company into a nationwide conglomerate. He branched out into numerous industries:
electronics, crude oil, weapons and battery manufacturing. In 1918, however, Günther’s wife died of
the Spanish flu, leaving him with a single son, Herbert Quandt. Three years later, Günther would marry again,
this time to a young blonde twenty years younger than he was: Magda Ritschel. Unfortunately for Günther, Magda eventually
got bored of him and asked for a divorce in 1929. Now this is where things get interesting,
cause you’d assume a divorce wouldn’t be the high point of someone’s life, but
Günther found incredible opportunity in it. You see, Magda had left Günther to marry
none other than Joseph Goebbels, the man who would later head the Ministry of Propaganda
of Nazi Germany. Günther was surprisingly welcoming of his
ex-wife’s new relationship, so much so that he offered up his own mansion for their wedding. Magda and Joseph would marry on December 19th,
1931 and the wedding’s best man was none other than Adolf Hitler. Günther saw great potential in these newfound
connections of his, but he decided to play it safe. He wouldn’t publicly support the Nazi Party
until after they had won the elections in March 1933. But now Hitler was in power and remilitarization
was at the top of his agenda. Günther Quandt became one of his most important
allies: his factories became a cornerstone of the Nazi war machine. His greatest asset by far was his battery
factory, AFA. The batteries produced in it would eventually
power the submarines and tanks of Germany, as well as Hitler’s “miracle weapon”,
the V-2 rocket. In 1937 Hitler appointed Günther as “Wehrwirtschaftsführer”
or Leader of the War Economy. In the wake of Hitler’s conquests, Günther
was the first in line to appropriate the seized factories throughout Europe. Starting in 1941, forced laborers began to
fill the ranks of Günther’s factories, as all the able-bodied Germans were dragged
to the Eastern front. While forced labor became prevalent in many
German businesses at the time, Günther’s factories became infamous among Jewish circles
as being particularly harsh. The working conditions in AFA’s battery
plants were exceptionally brutal; workers were offered no protection and the vast majority
would die of lead poisoning in less than six months. Overseeing personnel at AFA was Günther’s
son, Herbert Quandt. He had been involved in his father’s businesses
from a young age and like him was a member of the Nazi Party. In 1943, Herbert would collaborate with the
SS in the construction of a concentration camp directly alongside their battery factory
in Hanover. Similar arrangements would later be made for
AFA factories in Berlin and Vienna. Of course, eventually the German war machine
would crumble and along with it the vast business empire of the Quandts would come under threat
by the occupying Allies. Now, you’d assume the fall of Nazi Germany
would be the end for Günther, but despite being one of the leading industrialists of
the time, he was never indicted. When the Americans got hold of Günther, they
interned him in Camp Moosburg. This was formerly Nazi Germany’s largest
prisoner-of-war camp, but the Americans had turned it around and were now using to hold
all of the Germans suspected of collaborating with the Nazi regime. However, after a year and a half in that camp,
Günther was released and walked away scot free. According to documents at the time, there
was insufficient evidence linking Günther with the Nazis. Now, unlike his father, Herbert ended up in
the British occupation zone when the Nazi’s surrendered. Because he carried relatively little “political
baggage”, as the British called it, Herbert was granted an operating permit in just a
few weeks. In the eyes of the British, Germany’s biggest
priority was to rebuild its economy, and people like Herbert and Günther were seen as necessary
to that end. And just in case you’re thinking that it’s
just the Quandts who made it out intact, even the industrialists who were indicted at the
Nuremberg trials would eventually be set free under the same pretext. Now, Günther died in 1954, leaving Herbert
in charge of the family’s wealth. Much like his father, Herbert found it incredibly
lucrative to buy up struggling companies, and that’s exactly what he did with BMW. Unlike the Quandt family’s business empire,
BMW wasn’t having a good time after World War 2. Their factories had been heavily bombed and
those in Eastern Germany were even seized by the Soviet Government. In fact, BMW wasn’t allowed to produce cars
until 1952, and to make ends meet before that they resorted to manufacturing kitchen equipment
from salvaged material. Suffice to say, BMW’s post-war reboot wasn’t
doing well. By 1959 the company was on the verge of bankruptcy
and looking desperately for anyone willing to buy them out. Herbert did exactly that, and it was thanks
to his capital injection that BMW were able to produce their saving grace, the BMW 1500. The small, but feisty sedan would become the
basis for the modern BMW. It was the first of BMW’s “New Class”
designs, which would re-establish the BMW brand and would push the company to record
profitability. But, the fact remains that the money used
to rebuild BMW came from blatant war profiteering. What’s more concerning is the fact that
the Quandts evaded owning up to their history until very recently. Other big German companies came forward with
apologies and donations in the late 1990s, but the Quandts remained silent until October
2007, when a very explicit documentary shared this story with the general public. Since then, the Quandts have issued public
apologies and all that, but regardless of that they still remain the richest Germans
by a wide margin. Herbert’s daughter, Susanne Klatten, is
the wealthiest woman in Germany, while his son Stefan is the single largest shareholder
of BMW, controlling just over 25% of the company. Today, the Quandts are a dynasty to be reckoned
with: for example, they are one of the largest political donors to the Christian Democrats,
Germany’s largest political party. And sure, while the grandchildren of Günther
can hardly be held responsible for his crimes, it’s still pretty interesting to see the
direct link between Nazi Germany’s war machine and the German elite of today. Thanks for watching guys. Now, this particular story was much darker
than the ones we usually cover, but I think it had to be done. Let me know in the comments below if you agree
and also mention which company you’d like me to feature next. If you like what I do and you want to support
me you can check out my Patreon page, where you can get perks like early access to future
videos and HD versions of the music I use. Once again, thanks for watching and until
next time: stay smart.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

93 Comments

  1. Amazing video. Business casual can u do a video on big cover-ups by governments/companies across the globe.

  2. Thought Magda looked familiar lol I knew this story but forgot the name.

    Many German industrilaists were in bed with the Nazis as they were in complete total power in Germany. Brutal conditions in their factories is not cool but it is a perfect example of what putting profits before morals looks like. Cheap labour like that is horrible, but it could happen anywhere.

    China is the world's factory for a reason as they have masses of cheap labourers.

    BMW they had built many great airplane engines during the war and had plenty of war profits of their own, but building such vital war material will have bombs falling on your factories and with no large military and the country in ruins I am not surprised BMW was in a hard place and had to sell.

  3. The most ironic part is that BMWs today are craptacular. What, too harsh? Okay okay. Craptastic. A BMW says to the world: "I'm disposing of this sap's income!"

  4. Dark story? Cut the anti-German, Globalist propaganda, and get the Africans and Muslims out of Europe.

  5. Going by your analogies, I can prove you drink water derived from hitler‘s piss. Go make a video on how Switzerland is built on Jewish gold.

  6. I was bmw technician until now…..and always getting me angry everytime that i notice the design of its engine is not mechanic friendly…..super tight spaces…that u must remove lots of parts to get through……now i understand why thus the germans design was terrible……cause they deliberately did that in purpose…..to suffer us so badly

  7. Wait so an American company got wealthy off of world war 2 because he basically supported the nazis ???

  8. Something to think about
    "why the fuck would it be tradaitional to pull teeth out of your head, the military garuntee's along with everything else"
    -like your body comes with those things, but they say oh na, we gotta put you on herion or laughing gas and pull them out of your head, Why? well there saying you have threat of "looking crazy", but there also saying it known that you will go crazy or gain special abilities, i mean they have more power lines than there is teeth, have you ever been at a redlight, and looked up and said what the fuck theres 12 or 11 power lines.. powerlines are kina like you teeth so to speak. TGB the way i mean it

    alright , we said, we ha to take one of your clavicle bones out, becuase it will make you feel a certian way or can have personality issues if your keep your chest an shoulders… Now lets say, ok we have to pull your teeth, every single persons teeth in america or the unitedstates. Everysingle human, we gotta pull your oldest teeth, that says your grown up so to speak in the past.
    think about it feel it
    TGB the way i mean it

  9. lets say you wanted to kill or save donald Trump the president , alls you have to do is rush him ,pund or beat on hist chest or heart, say important you saw him gasping for air….so you made sure the area was safe , told somebody to call somebody, and started extreme perferable CPR type stuff, if you break ribbs your doing a good job..you can use this for people all over the world on t.v. type stuff "protect them or make them " Safer than Safe" TGB the way i mean it

  10. Bourgeosie always make a tremendous effort to convince the general public they have liberal values, but their history proves they only value money.

  11. I like the fact you focused on the dark side of business history. It's important to maintain all history to recognize future trends.

  12. Blood money will get you a dollar.. no more. Until people realize what you did.. Then that dollar gets sentenced to social manslaughter and taken away.

  13. If you read the April, 2019 issue of The Trumpet newsmagazine, Germany's industries are preparing to start World War Three. You ain't seen nothing yet!

  14. Yes, America did some bad shit but come on!! What country on the planet hasn’t? That’s the human condition. Rome invade foreign lands. Britain colonized Asia, Africa and the Americas. France colonized Africa and Vietnam. Russia invaded Germany and Eastern Europe, raping and enslaving people under brutal oppression. The list goes on and on so let’s not act like America is the only country that has skeletons in the closet. The history is what it is and can’t be changed. Most of the people involved are either dead or have Alzheimers so let’s learn from it and move on. Is America today perfect? Of course not! But no country is. I would still rather live here than any other country on earth and based on the massive waves of immigration, so do many others around the world. Name another country in the world where you can start out dirt poor, work your ass off, save your money and become a millionaire or mildly successful.

    If you other Americans hate America so much then why the hell don’t you just leave already? I am really tired of Americans bagging on their homeland insinuating that so many other countries are morally superior. The world is jacked up….period. It just so happens that some countries are a little less so.

  15. Yes bro agreed. But many other big names in the industry has dark past. Fanta was invented by Nazis. So people stopped drinking Fanta? No. Disney got a not so good past. History itself is a fucked up thing. As long as BMW produces some of the finest cars and bikes in the automotive industry, they are absolutely fine to me and so to the world. So BMW’s built by Nazis are a negative thing? Well if you hate Nazis so much then avoid everything German. Such as excellent cars, brilliant firearms, so called German Shepherd police dogs and so on. Move on. That’s a company more than 100 years old and you gotta do some shady things if you want to protect the ass of your business within two world wars and lots of fucked up things. So does BMW care about people speculating their Nazi dominated past? No. They are still one of the very best automakers in the world and continue to produce some of the finest automobiles known to mankind.

  16. So what if the y built their wealth on war profiteering and spoils based on the backs of death misery and suffering of a massive population? Has the British empire and royal family apologized to Africa The Indian subcontinent and all those parts of the world they plundered robbed and committed mass genocide and took wealth and resources back to build england. Have they returned any of the jewels and artifacts? have they compensated for colonization and slave labor? British south africa company, the british east india company. the milner group, anglo american, etc look it up. Self righteous Hypocrites.

    How about the Spanish Empire and the conquistadors in South America? or the portugese? and many more.

  17. I got one vibe from the quant family, they are crooks. People have been arrested for doing menial, none killing work for ww2 germany. And they get a free pass because they have money. They eagerly switch sides for profit. Things like that should be a reminder that politicians do not represent the people.

  18. You can add a plethora of german companies, japanese companies and american companies to it. Starting with that insideous koch brothers.

  19. Blah blah blah. Joos run banks and pedowood. That is a fact. Jeffrey epSTEIN anyone? Harvey weinstein?? Chuch SCHUMER??

  20. Now every time I see a guy in their mid 20’s proudly driving their white bmw I’ll be thinking about this video

  21. what the hell?  tear down confederate statues because of the past….need to destroy all BMW's on the road…they are racist.

  22. You don't understand the situation of rich capitalists in nazi Germany. Those that were not members of nazi party lost everything and those that joined the party were mostly just a paper owners and many of them were afraid of the future because they knew about the Night of the Long Knives. Nazi Germany was a socialist state and so the final goal was to take the property from capitalists and put it under the ownership of the state. This was the main reason that western allies released them.

  23. The term Nazi means Nacional socialist, social with your nacion, like saying America first. Nothing wrong with that. The rest is Hollyweird, fake media and fake News BS who is mainly run by (((Them))). Watch the greatest Story never told by Dennis Wise.

  24. Greets from Germany. Thanks for bringing back History to our minds… I'm born 1975 and i'm still aware of our History.
    I think all of us are aware of our past and we're ashamed of it! You will never see a House with a german Flag in front of it, instead of a World Cup or the EU Cup in Soccer.

    We all know what happend back in the DARK DAYS!!!

    After Years, also you Americans loved, drove and used our products, we should be more than FRIENDS nowadays.
    Made in Germany back in the days should inform people to stay away from our products. Now its a Brand.

    You sure be right by this video, but don't forget… Have you lived in these days? With an Dictator that steals your ground.
    Besides all other things.

    A little bit of background in german history is missing.

    Usually a great Job, but now i had to pointed some points out.

  25. Thanks I`m a German from 1953. I like BMW cars but I learn about the history of the Quant family from the mid 70ts. it´s a shame that the never apologize for there War crimes. I never bought or will buy a BMW

  26. Informative
    Great job, 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
    Sometimes i wonder why the Germany products are superior in quality than the others, the only facts lies here….
    force labourer, tears and blood even they don't know how many years they'll live,….

  27. The NAZIs tried to subjugate the world thru violent force. The Allies bled and died to stop it. Russia was motivated by revenge, while the free world was motivated by the ideals of freedom. When the war was over the free world guaranteed the freedom of the German people living in areas they controlled and helped them get back on their feet, while the Russians subjugated the Germans living in the East. West Germany prospered while the totalitarian East Germany stagnated. Eventually the whole Germany was unified under the free and democratic system of West Germany. The Quandt family was extremely extremely lucky they ended up in West Germany, had they got holed up in the East they would be erased by now. Genuine contrition must translate into concrete actions of penance, not just an offer of mere words.

  28. IG Farben and MANY others? Fact of the matter is that a lot of that old filth left a lot of money to those who until this very day pretend their family was clean. They are a fucking joke at best! :-))

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