Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #1012 Food For Thought, Part 2

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Mar­tin Bor­mann (right) with Himm­ler (cen­ter)

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram sup­ple­ments and reca­pit­u­lates both FTR #912 and AFA #39. In turn, sev­er­al oth­er, over­lap­ping pro­grams should be exam­ined to flesh out one’s under­stand­ing of the phe­nom­e­na dis­cussed here, includ­ing: FTR #‘s 606, 682 and 686, as well as AFA #16.

Cen­tral to our analy­sis is a look at an excerpt from tes­ti­mo­ny before a House appro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee that was draw­ing up the defense bud­get for the fol­low­ing year. (The hear­ings were in 1969.) The tes­ti­mo­ny dis­cuss­es the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using genet­ic engi­neer­ing to pro­duce a dis­ease that would be “refrac­to­ry” to the immune sys­tem. This is vir­tu­al­ly the clin­i­cal def­i­n­i­tion of AIDS. It is worth not­ing that the project was fund­ed, and just such a disease—AIDS—appeared in just the time frame posit­ed. It is also worth not­ing that, in the 2002 edi­tion of A High­er Form of Killing, this pas­sage is omit­ted!!

. . . As long ago as 1962, forty sci­en­tists were employed at the U.S. Army bio­log­i­cal war­fare lab­o­ra­to­ries on full-time genet­ics research. ‘Many oth­ers,’ it was said, ‘appre­ci­ate the impli­ca­tions of genet­ics for their own work.’ The impli­ca­tions were made more spe­cif­ic that genet­ic engi­neer­ing could solve one of the major dis­ad­van­tages of bio­log­i­cal war­fare, that it is lim­it­ed to dis­eases which occur nat­u­ral­ly some­where in the world. ‘With­in the next 5 to 10 years, it would prob­a­bly be pos­si­ble to make a new infec­tive micro-organ­ism which could dif­fer in cer­tain impor­tant respects from any known dis­ease-caus­ing organ­isms. Most impor­tant of these is that it might be refrac­to­ry to the immuno­log­i­cal and ther­a­peu­tic process­es upon which we depend to main­tain our rel­a­tive free­dom from infec­tious dis­ease.’ [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.] The pos­si­bil­i­ty that such a ‘super germ’ may have been suc­cess­ful­ly pro­duced in a lab­o­ra­to­ry some­where in the world in the years since that assess­ment was made is one which should not be too read­i­ly cast aside. . .

The cor­po­rate logo of I.G. Far­ben.

Pure­bred North­ern Euro­peans pos­sess a hered­i­tary immu­ni­ty to infec­tion by HIV, a gene (CCR5Delta 32) that con­ferred immu­ni­ty to the Black Death, long believed to have been bubon­ic plague. Bubon­ic plague was a major focal point of Third Reich bio­log­i­cal weapons research, stem­ming from SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler’s inter­est in that dis­ease.

Dis­guised as a can­cer research pro­gram, Nazi Ger­many’s plague research was presided over by Kurt Blome, the deputy sur­geon gen­er­al of the Third Reich. Blome went to work for the U.S. under Project Paper­clip (also known as Oper­a­tion Paper­clip.) We won­der if the Nazi research into bubon­ic plague and the emer­gence of an immune-destroy­ing dis­ease to which only pure-bred North­ern Europeans–“Aryans”–were immune might have been the out­growth of Nazi-inspired U.S. bio­log­i­cal weapons research stem­ming from Paper­clip?

Anoth­er devel­op­ment in that con­text is note­wor­thy:

When the U.S. offi­cial­ly “gave up” bio­log­i­cal war­fare research, Fort Detrick–the mil­i­tary’s top bw research facil­i­ty, was offi­cial­ly turned over to the Nation­al Can­cer Insti­tute’s Viral Can­cer Research Project. Fea­tur­ing vet­er­ans of the U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare research pro­gram, the NCI’s VCP was imple­ment­ed by Lit­ton Bio­net­ics, a biotech­nol­o­gy sub­sidiary of Lit­ton Indus­tries, a major defense con­trac­tor. The Nation­al Can­cer Insti­tute’s Viral Can­cer Research Project was at the epi­cen­ter of U.S. research into AIDS. We strong­ly sus­pect that this was a reca­pit­u­la­tion of the Third Reich’s use of “can­cer research.”

In both FTR #912 and AFA #39we high­light­ed Bay­er’s pro­ject­ed pur­chase of Mon­san­to.

We engage in a line of inquiry that is spec­u­la­tive in nature, eval­u­at­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that com­pa­nies descend­ed from the I.G. Far­ben Ger­man chem­i­cal car­tel may absorb Mon­san­to, the firm not­ed for its devel­op­ment of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied organ­isms.

Specif­i­cal­ly, Bay­er and BASF fig­ured in the report­ed maneu­ver­ing for Mon­san­to. The deal  has passed Amer­i­can anti-trust reg­u­la­tors, with BASF pur­chas­ing some $9 bil­lion in for­mer Bay­er assets to per­mit the deal to go for­ward.

Against the back­ground of the remark­able Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work’s effec­tive con­trol of the firms that descend­ed from I.G. Far­ben, we rumi­nate about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered bina­ry pathogens being includ­ed in the food sup­ply avail­able to much of the world’s pop­u­la­tion.

Avail­able infor­ma­tion high­lights pos­si­ble Under­ground Reich maneu­ver­ing to gain con­trol of firms mar­ket­ing food­stuffs to mid­dle, low­er mid­dle and work­ing class peo­ple. This spec­u­la­tion, in turn, is set against the back­ground of infor­ma­tion strong­ly sug­gest­ing that AIDS was delib­er­ate­ly devel­oped.

In the con­text of the pur­chase of food-pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies, we note J.A.B Hold­ings and it’s asso­ci­at­ed Reimann fam­i­ly.

They are owned by a secre­tive group of Ger­man bil­lion­aires, most­ly relat­ed to each oth­er. This group owns (out­right or major­i­ty) a rather shock­ing num­ber of major Amer­i­can brands, includ­ing Peets Cof­fee, Pan­era Bread, Jim­my Choo Shoes, Doug­we Eberts Cof­fee, and Krispy Kreme Donuts! They appear to be mak­ing a major move to dom­i­nate the U.S., and per­haps glob­al, cof­fee indus­try.

They also own part of 3G, the mas­sive Brazil­ian hold­ing com­pa­ny (with one of the three heads hav­ing the last name Lemann, and the oth­er hav­ing Her­mann as a mid­dle name). (This is a focal point of FTR #912.)

Jorge Paulo Lemann

3G owns Inbev (dom­i­nant play­er in the world’s liquor indus­try), Heinz, Kraft, and Burg­er King, who they quick­ly moved to Cana­da and merged with Tim Hor­tons, a mas­sive Cana­di­an restau­rant chain, for tax breaks. They also own the largest logistics/railroad com­pa­ny in South Amer­i­ca and its largest retail shop­ping com­pa­ny. So, between their inter­ests in JAB and 3G, this one fam­i­ly has their ten­ta­cles into a ridicu­lous amount of com­merce.

Like many Ger­man cor­po­rate cit­i­zens, they make their head­quar­ters in Lux­em­bourg.

Is this Bor­mann mon­ey “gulp­ing up com­pa­nies like a giant amoe­ba?”

Note how secre­tive the Reimann fam­i­ly and their oper­a­tion is:  ” . . . . The lack of involve­ment is alleged­ly part of the fam­i­ly pol­i­cy, which also includes sign­ing a codex on one’s 18th birth­day pledg­ing to stay out of the pub­lic as much as pos­si­ble, thus mak­ing them one of the most pri­vate bil­lion­aire fam­i­lies. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: 

  1. JAB Hold­ing’s appar­ent move to dom­i­nate the cof­fee mar­ket.
  2. Review of the career of Franz Liesau Zacharias.
  3. As dis­cussed in AFA #39, the Nazis began research­ing tox­ic agents on apes and then moved on to humans—inmates in con­cen­tra­tion camps. AIDS results from a mon­key virus that even­tu­ally jumped to humans as well. Does the pro­gres­sion in the Nazi death camps of test­ing on apes to test­ing on humans have any rela­tion­ship with the pro­gres­sion of a simi­an virus to infec­tion of humans? Might the cre­ation of AIDS have stemmed from Nazi research? Is it an acci­dent that the hered­i­tary immu­nity from HIV infec­tion is only present in the white race, and [accord­ing to some sources] North­ern Euro­peans in par­tic­u­lar? Is it an acci­dent that peo­ple of African extrac­tion are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to HIV infec­tion?
  4. Dr. Franz Liesau Zac­cha­rias was the Abwehr agent who obtained the apes for the Nazi med­ical exper­i­ments. He was bad­ly want­ed by West­ern intel­li­gence after the warWhy?! West­ern intel­li­gence agen­cies cer­tain­ly did­n’t need any­one to teach them how to obtain apes from Africa. Exper­i­ment­ing on ani­mals is not a war crime. The sus­pi­cion here is that he had dis­cov­ered some­thing of val­ue dur­ing his pri­mate work. Evi­dence also sug­gests that he remained part of The Under­ground Reich.
  5. Among the dis­eases that Liesau Zacharias’ ani­mals were used for test­ing was “the plague”! Did the Nazis note that some peo­ple appeared to be immune to infec­tion with plague? Were tis­sue and/or sera sam­ples tak­en and pre­served for fur­ther study? Was this in any way con­nected to the even­tual evo­lu­tion of the CCR5-delta 32 gene as a hered­i­tary pro­tec­tion against infec­tion by HIV? Is it pos­si­ble that Liesau Zacharias was actu­ally tar­geted for recruit­ment by the U.S. for Project Paper­clip? Did Liesau Zacharias expe­ri­ence an out­break of immun­od­e­fi­ciency among his pri­mates await­ing ship­ment to Ger­many? Might such an out­break have been due to SIV? Did Liesau Zacharias take tis­sue and sera sam­ples from infect­ed pri­mates? Might such a devel­op­ment have been relat­ed to his impor­tance to the Allies?

1. Ini­ti­at­ing the dis­cus­sion, we exam­ine the career of Kurt Blome, the deputy sur­geon gen­er­al of the Third Reich, a top bio­log­i­cal war­fare researcher, con­duct­ing his work under the cov­er of “can­cer research.”

Oper­a­tion Paper­clip  by Annie Jacob­sen; HC Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pa­ny; Copy­right 2014 by Anne M. Jacob­sen; ISBN 978–0‑316–22104‑7; p. 75.

. . .The War Crimes Office had con­sid­er­able infor­ma­tion about Dr. Kurt Blome. He was deputy sur­geon gen­er­al of the Third Reich and vice pres­i­dent of the Reich’s Physi­cians’ League, Reich­sarztekam­mer. He was  believed to have report­ed direct­ly to Gor­ing and maybe even to Himm­ler, or to both. Blome had been named head of Reich can­cer research in 1942. Alsos and OSS pre­sumed that this was a cov­er name for bio­log­i­cal weapons work. Blome was a ded­i­cat­ed and proud Nazi. . . .

2. More about Blome, bio­log­i­cal war­fare and the use of “can­cer research” as a cov­er for BW research.

Oper­a­tion Paper­clip  by Annie Jacob­sen; HC Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pa­ny; Copy­right 2014 by Anne M. Jacob­sen; ISBN 978–0‑316–22104‑7; p. 77.

. . . . [Major E.W.B.] Gill asked how Blome, a “can­cer expert,” had been put in charge of the Reich’s bioweapons pro­gram, a sub­ject he claimed to know very lit­tle about. Blome said he had no answer for that. . . .

3. Nazi bio­log­i­cal war­fare research was pro­pelled, in con­sid­er­able mea­sure, by SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler. Himm­ler was par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in bubon­ic plague.

Oper­a­tion Paper­clip  by Annie Jacob­sen; HC Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pa­ny; Copy­right 2014 by Anne M. Jacob­sen; ISBN 978–0‑316–22104‑7; p. 160.

. . . . Himm­ler had a lay­man’s fas­ci­na­tion with bio­log­i­cal war­fare. A for­mer chick­en farmer, the Reichs­fuhrer-SS had stud­ied agri­cul­ture in school. Accord­ing to Blome, it was Himm­ler who was the pri­ma­ry moti­va­tor behind the Reich’s bioweapons pro­gram. Hitler, Blome said, did not approve of bio­log­i­cal war­fare and was kept in the dark as to spe­cif­ic plans. Himm­ler’s area of great­est fas­ci­na­tion, said Blome, was bubon­ic plague. . . .

4. Kurt Blome was Himm­ler’s point man in research­ing bubon­ic plague for bio­log­i­cal war­fare appli­ca­tions. 

Oper­a­tion Paper­clip  by Annie Jacob­sen; HC Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pa­ny; Copy­right 2014 by Anne M. Jacob­sen; ISBN 978–0‑316–22104‑7; p. 161.

. . . . Blome then told Himm­ler that if he were to exper­i­ment with plague bac­teri­um, he would need his own insti­tute, an iso­lat­ed facil­i­ty far removed from pop­u­la­tion cen­ters. Himm­ler and Blome agreed that Poland would be a good place, and they s ttled on Ness­sel­st­edt, a small town out­side the for­mer Poz­nan Uni­ver­si­ty (by then oper­at­ed by the Reich). Blome’s research was to be called the Bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cal Insti­tute at Nes­sel­st­edt. . . .

5. Blome had achieved great progress with both bubon­ic and pneu­mon­ic plague.

Oper­a­tion Paper­clip  by Annie Jacob­sen; HC Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pa­ny; Copy­right 2014 by Anne M. Jacob­sen; ISBN 978–0‑316–22104‑7; p. 230.

. . . . Dr. Kurt Blome’s exper­tise was in great demand, but his future was as yet unde­cid­ed. In his Posen lab­o­ra­to­ry, Blome had made con­sid­er­able progress with live plague pathogens, includ­ing bubon­ic and pneu­mon­ic plague. How far that research pro­gressed remained vague, like­ly because it would put an unwant­ed spot­light on human exper­i­ments many believed had tak­en place there. . .

6. Blome alleged­ly knew more about bubon­ic plague than any­one else in the world.

Oper­a­tion Paper­clip  by Annie Jacob­sen; HC Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pa­ny; Copy­right 2014 by Anne M. Jacob­sen; ISBN 978–0‑316–22104‑7; p. 275.

. . . . As for Dr. Blome, he was seen as a high­ly desir­able recruit for Oper­a­tion Paper­clip. Blome alleged­ly knew more about bubon­ic plague research than any­one else in the world. But, giv­en his for­mer posi­tion in Hitler’s inner cir­cle, cou­pled with the fact that Blome had worn the Gold­en Par­ty Badge, bring­ing him to Amer­i­ca as part of Oper­a­tion Paper­clip remained too dif­fi­cult for the U.S. Army to jus­ti­fy. But as the Cold War gained momen­tum and intense sus­pi­cion of the Sovi­ets increased, even some­one like Kurt Blome would even­tu­al­ly be deemed eli­gi­ble for Oper­a­tion Paper­clip. . . .

7a. In both FTR #912 and AFA #39 we dis­cussed lead­ing GMO pro­duc­er Mon­san­to’s sale to Bay­er. We not­ed that both Bay­er and BASF (the firm viewed as a prob­a­ble pur­chas­er of Mon­san­to assets to be spun-off to con­form to anti-trust require­ments) are con­trolled by the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal orga­ni­za­tion.

Some $9 bil­lion in assets are, indeed, to be sold to BASF. This will still leave them under the con­trol of the Bor­mann group and the Under­ground Reich.

“U.S. Forces Germany’s Bay­er to Shed $9 Bil­lion in Ag Busi­ness in Biggest Ever AntiTrust Sell-Off” by Dan Man­gan; CNBC; 5/29/2018.

Drug-mak­er Bay­er, agree­ing to the largest divesti­ture in Amer­i­can antitrust enforce­ment his­to­ry, will sell agri­cul­tur­al busi­ness­es and assets worth about $9 bil­lion to chem­i­cal giant BASF, clear­ing the way for approval of its $66 bil­lion acqui­si­tion of Mon­san­to, the Jus­tice Depart­ment announced Tues­day.

The assets include Bay­er’s canola, soy­bean and veg­etable seed busi­ness­es, as well as its Lib­er­ty her­bi­cide busi­ness, all of which cur­rent­ly com­pete with Mon­san­to prod­ucts.

Bay­er also agreed to cer­tain “struc­tur­al divesti­tures” and to sell off “cer­tain intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty and research capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing ‘pipeline’ R&D projects,” accord­ing to the Jus­tice Depart­ment.

In reveal­ing the set­tle­ment it reached with Bay­er, the depart­ment said the sell-off will “pre­serve com­pe­ti­tion threat­ened by Bay­er’s acqui­si­tion of Mon­san­to.

With­out the divesti­ture, the depart­ment said, the “merg­er is unlaw­ful.”

Ger­many-based Bay­er and St. Louis-based Mon­san­to are two of the world’s biggest agri­cul­tur­al com­pa­nies, and cur­rent­ly com­pete against one anoth­er to sell farm­ers seed and crop pro­tec­tion prod­ucts, the depart­ment not­ed. BASF is the largest chem­i­cal pro­duc­er in the world. . . .

7b. The I.G. Far­ben com­pa­ny, a core ele­ment of the Third Reich, was cen­tral to Reich­sleit­er Mar­tin Bormann’s plans to secret Germany’s wealth abroad. Note, also, I.G. Farben’s dom­i­nance of the Euro­pean chem­i­cal indus­try, and the opin­ion of Dr. von Schnit­zler that tech­ni­cal depen­dence on I.G. facil­i­ties would con­tin­ue after the war. (To learn more about I.G. Far­ben, see—among oth­er programs–FTR#’s 305411506552. Seri­ous stu­dents should also read Treason’s Peace and The Devil’s Chemists, avail­able for down­load.)

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 28.

 . . . I.G. Far­ben was a for­mi­da­ble ally for Reich­sleit­er Bor­mann in his plans for the post­war eco­nom­ic rebirth of Ger­many. In a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Dr. von Schnit­zler, Bor­mann asked what would the loss of fac­to­ries in France and the oth­er occu­pied coun­tries mean to Ger­man indus­try in gen­er­al and to I.G. in par­tic­u­lar. Dr. von Schnit­zler said he believed the tech­ni­cal depen­dence of these coun­tries on I.G. would be so great that despite Ger­man defeat I.G., in one way or anoth­er, could regain its posi­tion of con­trol of the Euro­pean chem­i­cal busi­ness. ‘They will need the con­stant tech­ni­cal help of I.G.’s sci­en­tif­ic lab­o­ra­to­ries as they do not own appro­pri­ate instal­la­tions with­in them­selves.’ . . .

7c. Bor­mann and Schmitz then dis­cussed I.G.’s prospects for the post­war peri­od. The cozy rela­tion­ship with pow­er­ful ele­ments with­in the pow­er elites of the West­ern allies was fore­seen by Schmitz as bod­ing well for the company’s future. Schmitz’s pre­dic­tions were rel­a­tive­ly accu­rate. Nei­ther Schmitz nor any of the I.G. Far­ben exec­u­tives were severe­ly pun­ished and the firm’s three suc­ces­sor firms car­ried on effec­tive­ly in the post­war peri­od.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 158.

. . . .The Reich­sleit­er asked Schmitz his views of the future. Schmitz replied, ‘The occu­pa­tion armies will be under­stand­ing in the West, but cer­tain­ly not in the East. I have instruct­ed all Far­ben admin­is­tra­tors and tech­ni­cians to come to the West, where they can be of use in resum­ing our oper­a­tions once the dis­tur­bances of 1945 come to a halt.’ Schmitz added that, while gen­er­al bomb dam­age to the I.G. plants was about 25 per­cent of capac­i­ty, some were untouched. He men­tioned speak­ing with Field Mar­shal Mod­el, who was com­mand­ing the defens­es of the Ruhr. ‘Mod­el had planned to turn our Bay­er-Leberkusen phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­to­ry into an artillery base, but he agreed to make it an open, unde­fend­ed fac­to­ry. Hope­ful­ly, we will get it back untouched.’ ‘What about your board of direc­tors and the essen­tial exec­u­tives? If they are held by the occu­pa­tion author­i­ties, can I.G. con­tin­ue?’ Bor­mann asked. ‘We can con­tin­ue. We have an oper­a­tional plan for such a con­tin­gency, which every­one under­stands. How­ev­er, I don’t believe our board mem­bers will be detained too long. Nor will I. But we must go through a pro­ce­dure of inves­ti­ga­tion before release, so I have been told by our N.W. 7 peo­ple who have excel­lent con­tacts in Wash­ing­ton.’ . . .

7d. The broad­cast details the pro­found rela­tion­ship between I.G. Far­ben and the gov­ern­ment of the Third Reich. Of par­tic­u­lar util­i­ty to the Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal pro­gram was I.G. Farben’s elab­o­rate infra­struc­ture in for­eign coun­tries. Note that, as is seen here, I.G. Far­ben was inex­tri­ca­bly linked with both the gov­ern­ment of the Third Reich and with the Nazi par­ty itself. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the N.W.7 office and its con­trol by Mar­tin Bor­mann.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 54.

 . . . This, too, report­ed to Mar­tin Bormann.I.G. Farben’s N.W.7 office in Berlin com­piled mil­i­tary and eco­nom­ic data on all coun­tries for the Wehrma­cht. This depart­ment was staffed with men of rec­og­nized abil­i­ty in all branch­es of busi­ness and sci­ence. It was under the direc­tion of Dr. Max Ilgn­er, nephew of Her­mann Schmitz, I.G.’s pres­i­dent, who was known through­out the indus­tri­al world as ‘the mas­ter of finan­cial cam­ou­flage.’ [Empha­sis added.] Far­ben had offices and rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 93 coun­tries, and no social gath­er­ing of busi­ness­men was too small to be cov­ered by an N.W.7 rep­re­sen­ta­tive, whose reports on mar­ket con­di­tions, fac­to­ry instal­la­tions, raw-mate­r­i­al sup­plies, and research were trans­mit­ted imme­di­ate­ly to Berlin and Dr. Ilgn­er. In the Unit­ed States, N.W.7 oper­at­ed through the firm of Chem­ny­co, Inc., an Amer­i­can-formed sub­sidiary. Chem­ny­co sent tremen­dous amounts of infor­ma­tion rang­ing from pho­tographs and blue prints to detailed descrip­tions of entire indus­tri­al com­plex­es and secret process­es. . . .”

7e. Of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance for this dis­cus­sion is the fact that I.G. used Ger­man mil­i­tary con­quest to gain effec­tive func­tion­al con­trol of the chem­i­cal indus­try of the con­ti­nent. In para­graph 13, we not­ed Georg von Scnitzler’s pre­dic­tion that I.G.’s tech­ni­cal dom­i­nance would result in the post­war per­pet­u­a­tion of this con­trol. As we will see, this con­trol was main­tained. Note the role of the N.W.7 Far­ben espi­onage orga­ni­za­tion in Bor­man­n’s plans for the secret­ing of Nazi monies abroad.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 55–58.

. . . This huge orga­ni­za­tion func­tioned as a man­u­fac­tur­ing and research arm of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, with the respon­si­bil­i­ty of dis­cov­er­ing all pos­si­ble means of increas­ing the mil­i­tary pow­er of Ger­many. More than RM 4.25 bil­lion was invest­ed in new plants, mines, and pow­er instal­la­tions, with oth­er mil­lions going into new research facil­i­ties. . . . So close had Far­ben become to the gov­ern­ment that I.G. always knew in advance all inva­sions planned by Hitler. It was to sup­ply the mate­ri­als nec­es­sary to each con­quest, and when a land had been over­run and sub­ju­gat­ed, the Far­ben experts would han­dle the con­sol­i­da­tion and orga­ni­za­tion of the indus­tri­al facil­i­ties as addi­tion­al sup­ply sources for the Ger­man armed forces. As Ger­man troops swept across Europe and Hitler pro­claimed his vision of a thou­sand-year Third Reich, I.G. Far­ben also dreamed of world empire. This was out­lined with clar­i­ty in a doc­u­ment called Neuord­nung, or ‘New Order,’ that was accom­pa­nied by a let­ter of trans­mit­tal to the Min­istry of Eco­nom­ics. It declared that a new order for the chem­i­cal indus­try of the world should sup­ple­ment Hitler’s New Order. There­fore, the doc­u­ment stat­ed, Far­ben was fit­ting future indus­tri­al plans into such a frame­work. . . . I.G. Far­ben was the major chem­i­cal firm on the Con­ti­nent, and as each coun­try fell to Ger­many its acqui­si­tions of chem­i­cal and dyestuff com­pa­nies were enor­mous. I.G. also increased its invest­ments in these by RM 7 bil­lion. [Empha­sis added.]

. . . .The close rela­tion­ship of Far­ben to the Third Reich lead­er­ship was under­scored in oth­er ways. I.G.’s lead­ing offi­cials assist­ed in the for­mu­la­tion and exe­cu­tion of eco­nom­ic poli­cies of gov­ern­ment; its pres­i­dent was a mem­ber of the Reich­stag; its lead­ing sci­en­tist was a chief assis­tant to Her­mann Goer­ing under the Four-Year Plan; its sta­tis­ti­cians and econ­o­mists pre­pared intel­li­gence for the Nazi High Com­mand; scores of its tech­ni­cians were at any giv­en time on loan to the air and war min­istries.

. . . The con­tact men of N.W.7 through­out the world were called the I.G. Verbindungs­man­ner, the liai­son offi­cers between Far­ben back in Ger­many and the branch­es else­where. These I.G. Verbindungs­man­ner, as well as all oth­er key Far­ben rep­re­sen­ta­tives work­ing beyond the bor­ders of the Third Reich, were mem­bers of the Nation­al Social­ist Ger­man Work­ers Par­ty. . . . So now Mar­tin Bor­mann had at his com­mand not only the Aus­lands-Organ­i­sa­tion but also the I.G. Verbindungs­man­ner of Far­ben, which could be count­ed on to heed his orders when it was time to dis­perse the com­mer­cial assets of the Third Reich. . . .

7f. More about how the vast inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tions of the I.G. Far­ben firm and its var­i­ous sub­sidiary oper­a­tions was a prin­ci­pal ele­ment of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion. I.G. Far­ben chief Her­mann Schmitz dis­cussed I.G.’s involve­ment with the Bor­mann pro­gram.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 157–158.

. . . . In tes­ti­mo­ny lat­er giv­en to Nurem­berg inves­ti­ga­tors, Schmitz praised Bor­mann for the way he had direct­ed the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Ger­man assets around the world. His own Far­ben orga­ni­za­tion had, of course, con­tributed to the suc­cess of the oper­a­tion. Every region­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive work­ing for Her­mann Schmitz was an excep­tion­al busi­ness­man, or he would not have been with I.G. All had con­tributed sound advice in their areas of com­pe­tence, the regions of the world where they rep­re­sent­ed Far­ben while keep­ing an eye on the sub­sidiaries of the par­ent con­cern and the 700 hid­den cor­po­ra­tions they con­trolled. They had pro­vid­ed assis­tance and con­tin­u­ing guid­ance in estab­lish­ing the 750 new com­pa­nies cre­at­ed on order of Bor­mann, who want­ed more than hid­den assets; Bor­mann want­ed the mon­ey and patents and tech­ni­cians put to work to cre­ate even greater assets that would bol­ster Ger­many in the post­war years. In their meet­ing in the chan­cellery, both men checked over the fig­ures of sums dis­bursed, and they were accu­rate to the pfen­nig. . . .

7g. As fore­cast by Dr. Scheid in the August 10, 1944 meet­ing, the cor­po­rate allies of the major Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions, includ­ing and espe­cial­ly those of I.G. Far­ben, proved to be of great val­ue to the uccess of the Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal pro­gram.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 156.

. . . . Pow­er­ful friends of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in all West­ern coun­tries, includ­ing those sprin­kled in con­trol points through­out the admin­is­tra­tion in Wash­ing­ton and in the finan­cial and bro­ker­age busi­ness­es of Wall Street, the City of Lon­don, and the Paris estab­lish­ment, did not wish a coor­di­nat­ed dri­ve to get at these exter­nal Ger­man assets. They had under­stand­able rea­sons, if you over­look moral­i­ty: the finan­cial ben­e­fits for coop­er­a­tion (col­lab­o­ra­tion had become an old-hat term with the war wind­ing down) were very entic­ing, depend­ing on one’s impor­tance and abil­i­ty to be of ser­vice to the orga­ni­za­tion and the 750 cor­po­ra­tions they were secret­ly manip­u­lat­ing, to say noth­ing of the known multi­na­tion­als such as I.G. Far­ben, Thyssen A.G., and Siemens; and, as a sec­ond rea­son, the phi­los­o­phy of free enter­prise and preser­va­tion of pri­vate prop­er­ty. . . . (Ibid.; p. 156.)

7h. Note the post­war resus­ci­ta­tion of I.G. Far­ben, in the form of the “Big Three” suc­ces­sor firms that grew out Far­ben. Although offi­cial­ly bro­ken up at the end of World War II, I.G. Far­ben con­tin­ued func­tion­ing in new form. Recent merg­ers (such as the 1996 merg­er of I.G. car­tel affil­i­ates Ciba-Geigy and San­doz to form Novar­tis) indi­cate a new com­ing togeth­er of the old com­po­nents of I.G. Again, pay close atten­tion to the rela­tion­ship between these com­pa­nies and the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 282.

. . . . By 1956, the three major multi­na­tion­als (Hoechst, BASF, and Bay­er) reshaped from the 159 com­pa­nies with­in Ger­many that had com­prised I.G. Far­ben were gen­er­at­ing record prof­its for the orig­i­nal 450 major Far­ben stock­hold­ers, who had orga­nized them­selves into the I.G. Far­ben Stock­hold­ers Pro­tec­tive com­mit­tee in Bonn. The Big Three went on expand­ing, tripling cap­i­tal­iza­tion in 1956 from invest­ment funds that poured in from the inter­lock­ing com­pa­nies estab­lished in safe haven coun­tries by Mar­tin Bor­mann and Her­mann Schmitz. There was a return, more vig­or­ous than ever, of the huge, mono­lith­ic indus­tri­al multi­na­tion­als that dom­i­nat­ed the Ger­man econ­o­my before and dur­ing World War II. . . .

7i. The enor­mous cor­po­rate wealth and pow­er of the three suc­ces­sor firms is at the dis­pos­al of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and Under­ground Reich.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 282–283.

. . . . Each of these three spin­offs from I.G. Far­ben today does more busi­ness indi­vid­u­al­ly than did Far­ben at its zenith, when its cor­po­rate struc­ture cov­ered 93 coun­tries. BASF and Bay­er indi­vid­u­al­ly boast world­wide sales of near­ly $10 bil­lion annu­al­ly, while Hoechst, now the world’s largest chem­i­cal com­pa­ny, gen­er­at­ed $16.01 bil­lion in world­wide sales in 1980. Each does more busi­ness than E.I. du Pont de Nemours, with sales of $9.4 bil­lion. The Unit­ed States is, of course, the major mar­ket, one into which these Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions con­tin­ue to pour invest­ment mon­ey for both new cap­i­tal con­struc­tion and cor­po­rate takeovers. Togeth­er, these three multi­na­tion­als assure per­ma­nent pros­per­i­ty for the orig­i­nal 450 Far­ben stock­hold­ers, their banks, and the shad­owy share­hold­ers of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in South Amer­i­ca who guard and vote the Her­mann Schmitz trust fund through inter­me­di­aries at the annu­al meet­ings of BASF, Bay­er and Hoechst. [Empha­sis added.] . . . .

7j. A sig­nif­i­cant part of the I.G. Far­ben lega­cy, the Her­mann Schmitz Trust is also at the dis­pos­al of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and the Under­ground Reich.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 279–280.

. . . . If there is any doubt in Europe who, in the long run, won the peace, there is none what­so­ev­er among the for­mer Ger­man lead­ers dwelling in South Amer­i­ca. It is a good bet that if Her­mann Schmitz were alive today, he would bear wit­ness as to who real­ly won. Schmitz died con­tent­ed, hav­ing wit­nessed the resur­gence of I.G. Far­ben, albeit in altered cor­po­rate forms, a mon­ey machine that con­tin­ues to gen­er­ate prof­its for all the old I.G. share­hold­ers and enor­mous inter­na­tion­al pow­er for the Ger­man cadre direct­ing the work­ings of the suc­ces­sor firms. . . . He was the mas­ter manip­u­la­tor, the cor­po­rate and finan­cial wiz­ard, the magi­cian, who could make mon­ey appear and dis­ap­pear, and reap­pear again. His whole exis­tence was leg­erde­main, played out on the game­board of I.G. Far­ben and his beloved Ger­many. . . Their [Schmitz and Bor­mann] asso­ci­a­tion was close and trust­ing over the years, and it is the con­sid­ered opin­ion of those in their cir­cle that the wealth pos­sessed by Her­mann Schmitz was shift­ed to Switzer­land and South Amer­i­ca, and placed in trust with Bor­mann, the legal heir to Hitler. [Her­mann] Schmitz’s wealth—largely I.G. Far­ben bear­er bonds con­vert­ed to the Big Three suc­ces­sor firms, shares in Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey (equal to those held by the Rock­e­fellers), as well as shares in the 750 cor­po­ra­tions he helped Bor­mann estab­lish dur­ing the last year of World War II—has increased in all seg­ments of the mod­ern indus­tri­al world. The Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in South Amer­i­ca uti­lizes the vot­ing pow­er of the Schmitz trust along with their own assets to guide the multi­na­tion­als they con­trol, as they keep steady the eco­nom­ic course of the Father­land. . . .

7k. The pro­gram notes the eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the Bor­mann net­work:

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 284–285.

. . . . Atop an orga­ni­za­tion­al pyra­mid that dom­i­nates the indus­try of West Ger­many through banks, vot­ing rights enjoyed by major­i­ty share­hold­ers in sig­nif­i­cant car­tels, and the pro­fes­sion­al input of a rel­a­tive­ly young lead­er­ship group of lawyers, invest­ment spe­cial­ists, bankers, and indus­tri­al­ists, he is sat­is­fied that he achieved his aim of help­ing the Father­land back on its feet. To ensure con­ti­nu­ity of pur­pose and direc­tion, a close watch is main­tained on the prof­it state­ments and man­age­ment reports of cor­po­ra­tions under its con­trol else­where. This lead­er­ship group of twen­ty, which is in fact a board of direc­tors, is chaired by Bor­mann, but pow­er has shift­ed to the younger men who will car­ry on the ini­tia­tive that grew from that his­toric meet­ing in Stras­bourg on August 10, 1944. Old Hein­rich Mueller, chief of secu­ri­ty for the NSDAP in South Amer­i­ca, is the most feared of all, hav­ing the pow­er of life and death over those deemed not to be act­ing in the best inter­ests of the orga­ni­za­tion. Some still envi­sion a Fourth Reich. . .What will not pass is the eco­nom­ic influ­ences of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion, whose com­mer­cial direc­tives are obeyed almost with­out ques­tion by the high­est ech­e­lons of West Ger­man finance and indus­try. ‘All orders come from the share­hold­ers in South Amer­i­ca,’ I have been told by a spokesman for Mar­tin Bor­mann. . . . .

8a. We reca­pit­u­late infor­ma­tion from the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk. Like The Turn­er Diaries (also pub­lished by Nation­al Van­guard Books), the book seems to be a blue­print for a Nazi takeover of the Unit­ed States (rather than a nov­el), set to take place in the mid­dle of the 21st cen­tu­ry.

Ser­pen­t’s Walk by “Ran­dolph D. Calver­hall;” Copy­right 1991 [SC]; Nation­al Van­guard Books; 0–937944-05‑X; pp. 42–43.

. . . . The SS . . . what was left of it . . . had busi­ness objec­tives before and dur­ing World War II. When the war was lost they just kept on, but from oth­er places: Bogo­ta, Asun­cion, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mex­i­co City, Colom­bo, Dam­as­cus, Dac­ca . . . you name it. They real­ized that the world is head­ing towards a ‘cor­po­racra­cy;’ five or ten inter­na­tion­al super-com­pa­nies that will run every­thing worth run­ning by the year 2100. Those super-cor­po­ra­tions exist now, and they’re already divid­ing up the pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing of food, trans­port, steel and heavy indus­try, oil, the media, and oth­er com­modi­ties. They’re most­ly con­glom­er­ates, with fin­gers in more than one pie . . . . We, the SS, have the say in four or five. We’ve been com­pet­ing for the past six­ty years or so, and we’re slow­ly gain­ing . . . . About ten years ago, we swung a merg­er, a takeover, and got vot­ing con­trol of a super­corp that runs a small but sig­nif­i­cant chunk of the Amer­i­can media. Not open­ly, not with bands and trum­pets or swastikas fly­ing, but qui­et­ly: one huge cor­po­ra­tion cud­dling up to anoth­er one and gen­tly munch­ing it up, like a great, gub­bing amoe­ba. Since then we’ve been replac­ing exec­u­tives, push­ing some­body out here, bring­ing some­body else in there. We’ve swing pro­gram con­tent around, too. Not much, but a lit­tle, so it won’t show. We’ve cut down on ‘nasty-Nazi’ movies . . . good guys in white hats and bad guys in black SS hats . . . lov­able Jews ver­sus fiendish Ger­mans . . . and we have media psy­chol­o­gists, ad agen­cies, and behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion spe­cial­ists work­ing on image changes.

8b. In the con­text of the pur­chase of food-pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies, we note J.A.B Hold­ings and it’s asso­ci­at­ed Reimann fam­i­ly.

They are owned by a secre­tive group of Ger­man bil­lion­aires, most­ly relat­ed to each oth­er. This group owns (out­right or major­i­ty) a rather shock­ing num­ber of major Amer­i­can brands, includ­ing Peets Cof­fee, Pan­era Bread, Jim­my Choo Shoes, Doug­we Eberts Cof­fee, and Krispy Kreme Donuts! They also own part of 3G, the mas­sive Brazil­ian hold­ing com­pa­ny (with one of the three heads hav­ing the last name Lemann, and the oth­er hav­ing Her­mann as a mid­dle name). (This is a focal point of FTR #912.)

3G owns Inbev (dom­i­nant play­er in the world’s liquor indus­try), Heinz, Kraft, and Burg­er King, who they quick­ly moved to Cana­da and merged with Tim Hor­tons, a mas­sive Cana­di­an restau­rant chain, for tax breaks. They also own the largest logistics/railroad com­pa­ny in South Amer­i­ca and its largest retail shop­ping com­pa­ny. So, between their inter­ests in JAB and 3G, this one fam­i­ly has their ten­ta­cles into a ridicu­lous amount of com­merce.

Like many Ger­man cor­po­rate cit­i­zens, they make their head­quar­ters in Lux­em­bourg.

Is this Bor­mann mon­ey “gulp­ing up com­pa­nies like a giant amoe­ba?”

“Germany’s Intense­ly Pri­vate and Immense­ly Wealthy Reimann Fam­i­ly” by James Shot­ter; Finan­cial Times; 3/10/2016.

Late last year, a group called JAB Hold­ing splashed out $13.9bn to add Keurig Green Moun­tain, the biggest group in the US sin­gle-serve cof­fee mar­ket, to its grow­ing list of cof­fee invest­ments.

The deal capped a three-year, $30bn acqui­si­tion spree, dur­ing which JAB bought up groups rang­ing from instant cof­fee spe­cial­ists in Europe to hip­ster cof­fee chains in the US and prompt­ed sug­ges­tions that a chal­lenger to Nestlé’s dom­i­nant Nespres­so brand could be emerg­ing.

At the same time, the deal sparked anoth­er round of inter­est in the prin­ci­pal own­ers of JAB Hold­ing: four mem­bers of Germany’s intense­ly pri­vate and immense­ly wealthy Reimann fam­i­ly: Wolf­gang, Ste­fan, Renate and Matthias.

Keurig Green Moun­tain cof­fee packs, which form part of JAB’s grow­ing list of cof­fee invest­ments © Bloomberg

Through JAB, the fam­i­ly owns stakes in some of the world’s best-known brands. As well as its invest­ments in the cof­fee sec­tor, JAB’s bur­geon­ing port­fo­lio encom­pass­es a 8 per cent stake in Reckitt Benckiser, the con­sumer goods con­glom­er­ate, and a 77.4 per cent stake in the US fra­grance group Coty, which owns the Calvin Klein and David Beck­ham per­fume brands. On top of this, the hold­ing com­pa­ny also con­trols lux­u­ry mar­ques Jim­my Choo, Bal­ly and Bel­staff.

Last year, Forbes put the com­bined wealth of JAB’s four prin­ci­pal own­ers at $16bn, which would make the clan one of Europe’s wealth­i­est busi­ness dynas­ties. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fam­i­ly and JAB declined to com­ment for this arti­cle.

The Reimanns’ march to indus­tri­al promi­nence began in the ear­ly years of the 19th cen­tu­ry. In 1823, Johann Adam Benckiser, whose ini­tials are enshrined in JAB’s name, bought a chem­i­cals busi­ness in Pforzheim, a small town in the south-west­ern Ger­man province of Baden-Würt­tem­berg.

A few years lat­er, Lud­wig Reimann, the great-great-grand­fa­ther of the Reimanns who now own JAB, joined the com­pa­ny and mar­ried Benckiser’s daugh­ter. After Benckiser’s death, Reimann took over the com­pa­ny, which had by now moved some 100km north to Lud­wigshafen, paving the way for his descen­dants to etch the family’s name into the annals of Ger­man indus­try.

The last of the Reimanns to active­ly be involved in the day-to-day run­ning of Benckiser was Albert junior, Ludwig’s great-grand­son, who inher­it­ed the com­pa­ny in 1952 and pushed it in the direc­tion of con­sumer goods. He died in 1984, leav­ing equal stakes to his nine adopt­ed chil­dren.
Although all nine of Albert’s chil­dren had ini­tial­ly kept the 11.1 per cent stakes they inher­it­ed, by 2003, Wolf­gang and Renate (who are sib­lings) and Matthias and Ste­fan (who are broth­ers) had bought out the oth­er five.

In 1997, the fam­i­ly took Benckiser pub­lic and two years lat­er engi­neered a merg­er with the British con­sumer goods group, Reckitt and Col­man, to form Reckitt Benckiser.

The fam­i­ly mem­bers who sold out of the busi­ness then fol­lowed a well-trod­den path by rely­ing on a fam­i­ly office to man­age their wealth. Sub­se­quent­ly they found­ed Deutsche Kon­tor Pri­vat­bank, a pri­vate bank based in Munich, to offer wealth man­age­ment ser­vices to oth­er non-fam­i­ly mem­bers.

Those who kept their stakes have put their for­tune in the hands of a small group of trust­ed advis­ers who run JAB — cur­rent­ly Peter Harf, Bart Becht and Olivi­er Goudet. Harf start­ed at Benckiser in 1981, while Becht joined in 1988. Goudet, a for­mer Mars exec­u­tive, joined in 2012. The fam­i­ly mem­bers play no role in the oper­a­tive busi­ness­es. The trio of man­agers make sug­ges­tions to the fam­i­ly mem­bers on pos­si­ble invest­ments, which they then dis­cuss, but that the fam­i­ly has the ulti­mate say.

The set-up has prompt­ed com­par­isons with 3G, a pri­vate equi­ty group run by three Brazil­ian tycoons, that has been buy­ing up brands in the con­sumer goods sec­tor. How­ev­er the dif­fer­ence, accord­ing to Pablo Zuanic, an ana­lyst at Susque­han­na, is that at 3G the man­agers also pro­vide the cash. “At JAB, the Reimann fam­i­ly pro­vides the cap­i­tal, but the dri­ving force behind the day-to-day strat­e­gy is the three man­agers,” he says.

The Reimann’s newest asset, Keurig, co-oper­ates with a num­ber of third-par­ty brands, whose cof­fee it sells along with its cof­fee-dis­pens­ing machines. This means it is poten­tial­ly vul­ner­a­ble to some of those brands walk­ing away. The best way to deal with this, says Zuanic, would be for the fam­i­ly vehi­cle to buy up more brands of its own. “JAB has to have big­ger plans in cof­fee for this deal to make sense,” he says.

8c. We present more infor­ma­tion about JAB Hold­ing and  the brands they con­trol.

“Meet the Fam­i­ly Behind the World’s Biggest New Cof­fee Com­pa­ny;” Quartz; 5/8/2014.

… In addi­tion to the new cof­fee behe­moth, the fam­i­ly owns a sub­stan­tial lux­u­ry port­fo­lio which includes brands such as the high-end shoe brand Jim­my Choo, the per­fume mak­er Coty, and the Swiss shoe­mak­er Bal­ly. Before its $9.8‑billion pur­chase of D.E. Mas­ter Blenders, the com­pa­ny spent a com­bined $1.3 bil­lion on the retail cof­fee chains Cari­bou Cof­fee and Peet’s, though the busi­ness­es are run sep­a­rate­ly.

8d. More data on the Cof­fee Coup… also note how JAB is com­pared to 3G, yet with­out men­tion­ing how JAB and 3G often part­ner togeth­er!

“Bil­lion­aire Reimann Adding Krispy Kreme to Its Empire in $1.35 Bil­lion Deal” by Kevin Orland [Bloomberg]; Saint Louis Post Dis­patch; 5/9/2016.

The Reimann fam­i­ly, one of Europe’s wealth­i­est busi­ness dynas­ties, has the cof­fee. Now, it wants the dough­nuts.
After build­ing a cof­fee empire rang­ing from hip­ster Stump­town Cof­fee Roast­ers to sin­gle-serve main­stay Keurig, the Reimanns’ JAB Hold­ing invest­ment com­pa­ny wants its grow­ing sta­ble of con­sumer brands to add some high-calo­rie oomph: Krispy Kreme Dough­nuts Inc.
The $1.35 bil­lion deal, announced Mon­day, puts the intense­ly pri­vate Reimann clan — Wolf­gang, Ste­fan, Renate and Matthias — on a poten­tial col­li­sion course with Krispy Kreme’s rival of the moment, the mighty Star­bucks Corp.

It also trains a spot­light on JAB, whose stew­ard­ship of the Reimann for­tune has drawn com­par­isons to 3G Cap­i­tal, the Brazil­ian pri­vate equi­ty giant run by the bil­lion­aire Jorge Paulo Lemann. JAB, run by a trio of trust­ed Reimann advis­ers, is com­ing off a four-year acqui­si­tion spree in which it spent about $30 bil­lion tak­ing con­trol­ling stakes in Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Cof­fee & Tea, Cari­bou Cof­fee, Ein­stein Noah Restau­rant Group, Espres­so House and Bares­so Cof­fee.

“They’ve been slow­ly amass­ing a pret­ty big umbrel­la of break­fast- and cof­fee-ori­ent­ed brands, and so Krispy Kreme slides under­neath that umbrel­la pret­ty eas­i­ly,” said Will Slabaugh, an ana­lyst at Stephens Inc.

…The four Reimanns each have a net worth of $3.3 bil­lion, accord­ing to the Bloomberg Bil­lion­aires Index. A fifth sib­ling, Andrea Reimann-Cia­rdel­li, sold her stake in JAB in 2003 and has a $1.2 bil­lion net worth. Seek­ing a favor­able tax envi­ron­ment for the Reimanns, Harf moved their fam­i­ly offices to Vien­na from Lud­wigshafen, Ger­many, in 2006. The fam­i­ly trad­ed their Ger­man pass­ports for Aus­tri­an ones.

For now, cof­fee is a small part of Krispy Kreme’s busi­ness. Almost 90 per­cent of its rev­enue came from dough­nuts last year. Com­pare that with Dunkin’ Donuts, which gets most of its sales from cof­fee. Dunkin’ too has been cit­ed as a pos­si­ble JAB takeover tar­get, though the firm may take its time before mak­ing such a deal, Slabaugh said.

“They prob­a­bly want to swal­low an acqui­si­tion like this for a while before look­ing at some­thing like Dunkin’,” he said.

8e. More bio­graph­i­cal infor­ma­tion on the Reimann fam­i­ly.

“The Secre­tive Bil­lion­aire Fam­i­ly Behind The $13.9 Bil­lion Keur­ing Green Moun­tain Deal” by Max Jedeur-Palm­gren; Forbes; 12/7/2015.

Just as they wish it to be, you have prob­a­bly have nev­er heard of the Reimann fam­i­ly. Chances are how­ev­er that you have come across the prod­ucts of their empire mul­ti­ple times a day; maybe it was a pair of Jim­my Choo shoes, Durex con­doms, Peet’s cof­fee, a Mon­delez snack or Calvin Klein fra­grances. On Mon­day, the family’s con­glom­er­at­ed announced it will pay $13.9 bil­lion in cash to add yet anoth­er well-known prod­uct to its port­fo­lio, Keurig Green Moun­tain, mak­er of home and office cof­fee brew­ing sys­tems. The offer was a 78% pre­mi­um to where it had trad­ed on Fri­day, and the news sent the stock soar­ing. (The company’s founder, Bob Stiller, saw his for­tune jump near­ly $300 mil­lion today but he is still worth well less than he was at the stock’s peak).

The sib­lings are dece­dents of Ger­man chemist Lud­wig Reimann, who in 1828 joined Johann Adam Benckiser, and his name­sake com­pa­ny in Lud­wigshafen, Ger­many. By mar­ry­ing one of Benckiser’s daugh­ters, Reimann end­ed up inher­it­ing the entire com­pa­ny. His great-grand­son Albert Reimann took the reins in 1952, and decid­ed to steer the com­pa­ny in a new direc­tion, adding con­sumer goods to its busi­ness. When he died in 1984, his nine adopt­ed chil­dren, none of whom had ever worked for the busi­ness or had any role in its oper­a­tions, each inher­it­ed 11.1% of John A. Benckiser (JAB S.e.r.l.).

The lack of involve­ment is alleged­ly part of the fam­i­ly pol­i­cy, which also includes sign­ing a codex on one’s 18th birth­day pledg­ing to stay out of the pub­lic as much as pos­si­ble, thus mak­ing them one of the most pri­vate bil­lion­aire fam­i­lies.

Five of the orig­i­nal nine sib­lings have divest­ed from JAB, sell­ing their stakes to the remain­ing four. Wolf­gang, Matthias, Ste­fan and Renate togeth­er now own 95% of the com­pa­ny, which they hold through fam­i­ly offices based in Vien­na. Andrea Reimann-Ciadel­li, now an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen liv­ing in New Hamp­shire, sold her stake in 2003 for close to $1 bil­lion and is the low­est rank­ing fam­i­ly mem­ber one the Forbes Bil­lion­aires List. The oth­er sell­ers are believed to have been bought out in the late 90’s to unknown, but prob­a­bly low­er, amounts.

…The explic­it aim of the lat­est deal accord­ing to the press releas­es was to cre­ate the world’s largest pure-play cof­fee com­pa­ny. With the Keur­ing Green Moun­tain Deal announced on Mon­day, JAB will have suc­ceed­ed in doing just that, and will pass Nestlé in terms of glob­al annu­al rev­enue for cof­fee. Be as secre­tive as you may, it’s hard to escape the head­lines if you are mak­ing deals to take over an indus­try.

8f. This arti­cle dis­cuss­es JAB and 3G com­pet­ing for Pan­era, but takes the time to point out that this unusu­al and that they usu­al­ly move in tan­dem. Also, note that the CEO of JAB is chair of 3G-owned Inbev! Very cozy… also, note that War­ren Buf­fett is rou­tine­ly involved with both. Few things tes­ti­fy to the moral and intel­lec­tu­al bank­rupt­cy of Amer­i­can lib­er­al­ism than its fan­dom for Buf­fett. Yeah, he occa­sion­al­ly takes a swipe at Trump or the Bush­es, but that doesn’t mean he is “the Good Bil­lion­aire”. He has always been dirty.

“Buf­fet-Backed Firm Inter­est­ed in Bid for Pan­era Bread” by Josh Kos­man; New York Post; 4/10/1017.

If 3G moves to top JAB’s $7.5 bil­lion offer for Pan­era, it would put two of the world’s largest PE firms in direct com­pe­ti­tion for what is like­ly the first time.
JAB and 3G have been seen as allies. For exam­ple, Olivi­er Goudet, JAB’s chief exec­u­tive, is chair of 3G’s Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The two firms have also invest­ed in each other’s deals, sources close to the firms said.
“The idea of them being in com­bat with each oth­er is real­ly unusu­al,” a source who’s an invest­ment banker said.
“Giv­en that they invest in each other’s deals, it would be like going to war with your neigh­bor,” the banker said.
JAB, the invest­ment vehi­cle for the reclu­sive bil­lion­aire Reimann fam­i­ly, of Ger­many, signed a $315-a-share cash merg­er agree­ment with Pan­era last week. Pan­era shares closed Mon­day at $313.30.

It was an exclu­sive sales process where­by Pan­era did not shop itself to oth­er suit­ors, an invest­ment banker said.
Both JAB and 3G are on a glob­al buy­ing spree. They have a sim­i­lar strat­e­gy of invest­ing in a space and expand­ing their busi­ness­es via acqui­si­tion.

8g. This arti­cle con­firms the JAB invest­ment in 3G.

“Brazil­ian PE Firm  3G Cap­i­tal Eyes SAB Miller;” Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Post; 9/17/2015.

Though 3G Cap­i­tal is a PE firm, it doesn’t raise mon­ey in the nor­mal way as most of the pri­vate equi­ty firms do. It prefers to get huge lots of mon­ey from the wealth­i­est fam­i­lies in the world. Lemann and his asso­ciates Car­los Alber­to, Sicu­pi­ra and Mar­cel have pooled up big lots of mon­ey from over three dozen super rich indi­vid­u­als and the most wealth­i­est fam­i­lies in the world.

The world’s well-known fund man­ag­er William Ack­man also recent­ly invest­ed in 3G Cap­i­tal. Oth­er major investors include Colombia’s San­to Domin­go fam­i­ly, ten­nis play­er Roger Fed­er­er from Switzer­land and JAB Hold­ings, which han­dles Germany’s Reimann fam­i­ly assets.

8h. An overview of Jorge Paulo Leman­n’s busi­ness under­tak­ings, not­ing as we go his Ger­man­ic last name and the pro­found Bor­mann pres­ence in Latin Amer­i­ca and Switzer­land (Leman­n’s place of res­i­dence):

“Jorge Paulo Lemann”; Forbes; 5/27/2016.

Jorge Paulo Lemann is Brazil’s rich­est man thanks to his stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brew­er, which he owns through pri­vate equi­ty firm 3G Cap­i­tal togeth­er with fel­low bil­lion­aires and long­time part­ners Car­los Sicu­pi­ra and Mar­cel Her­rmann Telles [a nice Iber­ian name, no?–D.E.]. The trio also has stakes in Restau­rant Brands Inter­na­tion­al, which owns Burg­er King and Tim Hor­tons and is list­ed both the New York and Toron­to stock exchanges. In 2013 Leman­n’s pri­vate equi­ty firm bought H.J. Heinz & Com­pa­ny for $23 bil­lion togeth­er with War­ren Buf­fet­t’s Berk­shire Hath­away. It was 3G Cap­i­tal’s sec­ond acqui­si­tion of an Amer­i­can name brand. In 2010, 3G Cap­i­tal bought Burg­er King in a lever­aged buy­out.

 

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #1012 Food For Thought, Part 2”

  1. Did Bay­er buy a lemon? That’s prob­a­bly one of the ques­tions the com­pa­ny exec­u­tives and share­hold­ers are prob­a­bly ask­ing them­selves after a week of plum­met­ing stock val­u­a­tions fol­low­ing a wave a law­suits direct­ed at Bay­er’s recent­ly acquired Mon­san­to for $63 bil­lion. As the fol­low­ing arti­cle arti­cles, Bay­er’s share prices dropped 10 per­cent on Mon­day fol­low­ing a Cal­i­for­nia jury that award­ed $289 mil­lion to a man who sued Mon­san­to after get­ting can­cer fol­low­ing years of heavy use of Mon­san­to’s Roundup her­bi­cide despite assur­ances of its safe­ty, open­ing the flood­gates to poten­tial­ly thou­sands of oth­er sim­i­lar law­suits.

    Then, on Wednes­day, the Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court turned down an attempt by Bay­er to keep Roundup off the list of known car­cino­gens. That knocked anoth­er 6 per­cent off of Bay­er’s share price and Bay­er’s stock is now at a five year low.

    But the woes don’t stop there. Bayer/Monsanto was also just hit with a new class action law­suit by farm­ers in Arkansas and South Dako­ta over Dicam­ba, an alter­na­tive her­bi­cide pro­duced by Mon­san­to and seen as a poten­tial suc­ces­sor to Roundup.

    Also, it looks like Brazil might ban glyphosate, the key ingre­di­ent in Roundup.

    Oh, and it turns out researchers have been ele­vat­ed lev­els of glyphosate in a wide vari­ety of chil­dren’s cere­al prod­ucts. So Bay­er is poten­tial­ly look­ing at law­suits involv­ing expos­ing chil­dren to car­cino­gens. Plus, if dan­ger­ous lev­els of glyphosate are indeed found in cere­als, you can be sure it’s going to be found in all sorts of oth­er food prod­ucts that have yet to be dis­cov­ered.

    So you have to won­der if this is a sur­prise for Bay­er or was expect­ed when they agreed to pay $63 bil­lion for a com­pa­ny that appears to be a law­suit machine at this point:

    For­tune

    Bay­er Stock Keeps Falling as Its Mon­san­to Woes Stack Up

    By David Mey­er
    08/16/2018 7:23 AM EDT

    Bay­er stock con­tin­ues to slide in the wake of last week’s bomb­shell ver­dict on the car­cino­genic nature of Monsanto’s Roundup weed­killer.

    Bay­er bought Mon­san­to ear­li­er this year for $63 bil­lion. Roundup’s active ingre­di­ent is a her­bi­cide called glyphosate, which a jury last week decid­ed was respon­si­ble for the can­cer of for­mer groundskeep­er Dewayne John­son—a ver­dict that quick­ly lopped 10% off Bayer’s share price.

    Glyphosate’s respon­si­bil­i­ty for caus­ing can­cer is a deeply con­tentious issue. The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion thinks the sub­stance is dan­ger­ous. How­ev­er, the Euro­pean Union decid­ed in 2015 that it is not car­cino­genic, the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency said last year that it prob­a­bly doesn’t cause can­cer, and Bay­er con­tin­ues to argue that its new­ly acquired prod­uct is safe—it’s appeal­ing the John­son rul­ing.

    But on Wednes­day, the Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court turned down Bayer’s attempt to keep Roundup’s name off a list of known car­cino­genic chem­i­cals.

    Bayer’s share price fell 6.1% on Thurs­day, fol­low­ing the Cal­i­forn­ian deci­sion. So far, it has lost more than 18% of its val­ue since the John­son ver­dict, and is now low­er than it has been for more than five years.

    The neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment can also be traced to class action law­suits that the com­pa­ny is fac­ing in the U.S. over its Dicam­ba her­bi­cide. Accord­ing to Bloomberg, Arkansas and South Dako­ta farm­ers who are suing Bayer/Monsanto say Dicam­ba harmed crops adja­cent to those on which it was sprayed—it’s only sup­posed to be applied to plants that are engi­neered for resis­tance to Dicam­ba.

    Mean­while, accord­ing to Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche mag­a­zine, glyphosate could also face a ban in Brazil. And envi­ron­men­tal­ists said Wednes­day that they found unhealthy lev­els of glyphosate in pop­u­lar break­fast cere­als such as Chee­rios.

    ...

    ———–

    “Bay­er Stock Keeps Falling as Its Mon­san­to Woes Stack Up” by David Mey­er; For­tune; 08/16/2018

    Bay­er bought Mon­san­to ear­li­er this year for $63 bil­lion. Roundup’s active ingre­di­ent is a her­bi­cide called glyphosate, which a jury last week decid­ed was respon­si­ble for the can­cer of for­mer groundskeep­er Dewayne John­son—a ver­dict that quick­ly lopped 10% off Bayer’s share price.

    So the week start­ed off with a 10 per­cent drop in Bay­er’s share price fol­low­ing the Cal­i­for­nia ver­dict. And it just kept get­ting worse. The Cal­i­for­nia Supreme court refused to hear an appeal by Bay­er over a rul­ing that put glyphosate on the list of car­cino­genic chem­i­cals, knock­ing anoth­er 6.1 per­cent off the share price:

    ...
    Glyphosate’s respon­si­bil­i­ty for caus­ing can­cer is a deeply con­tentious issue. The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion thinks the sub­stance is dan­ger­ous. How­ev­er, the Euro­pean Union decid­ed in 2015 that it is not car­cino­genic, the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency said last year that it prob­a­bly doesn’t cause can­cer, and Bay­er con­tin­ues to argue that its new­ly acquired prod­uct is safe—it’s appeal­ing the John­son rul­ing.

    But on Wednes­day, the Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court turned down Bayer’s attempt to keep Roundup’s name off a list of known car­cino­genic chem­i­cals.

    Bayer’s share price fell 6.1% on Thurs­day, fol­low­ing the Cal­i­forn­ian deci­sion. So far, it has lost more than 18% of its val­ue since the John­son ver­dict, and is now low­er than it has been for more than five years.
    ...

    Then there’s the law­suits against Bayer/Monsanto by farm­ers in South Dako­ta and Arkansas over Dicam­ba, a prod­uct Mon­san­to was pro­mot­ing as a replace­ment for Roundup:

    ...
    The neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment can also be traced to class action law­suits that the com­pa­ny is fac­ing in the U.S. over its Dicam­ba her­bi­cide. Accord­ing to Bloomberg, Arkansas and South Dako­ta farm­ers who are suing Bayer/Monsanto say Dicam­ba harmed crops adja­cent to those on which it was sprayed—it’s only sup­posed to be applied to plants that are engi­neered for resis­tance to Dicam­ba.
    ...

    Final­ly, it turns out ele­vat­ed lev­els of glyphosate are found in a large num­ber of pop­u­lar break­fast cere­als pop­u­lar with chil­dren:

    ...
    Mean­while, accord­ing to Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche mag­a­zine, glyphosate could also face a ban in Brazil. And envi­ron­men­tal­ists said Wednes­day that they found unhealthy lev­els of glyphosate in pop­u­lar break­fast cere­als such as Chee­rios.
    ...

    So it’s look­ing like Bay­er paid $63 bil­lion for a legal night­mare sce­nario. Again, was this kind of legal lia­bil­i­ty seen as a real pos­si­bil­i­ty when they made the pur­chase or a big sur­prise? Because if it was a big sur­prise, well, that’s unfor­tu­nate for Bay­er but oh well.

    But if this legal night­mare was expect­ed, you have to won­der if Bay­er also expect­ed to be able to fend off these legal chal­lenges and this is all part of the plan. Or was the expec­ta­tion inside Bay­er that acqui­si­tion of Mon­san­to was going to be so prof­itable in the long run any­way that Bay­er could afford to take these loss­es? Because if it’s the lat­ter case, and Bay­er was will­ing to just absorb these legal blows, that sug­gests Bay­er is expect­ing the joint Bayer/Monsanto behe­moth to be incred­i­bly prof­itable in the future, which, in turn, implies that Bay­er was expect­ing Bayer/Monsanto to have an even larg­er grip on the glob­al agri­cul­tur­al mar­kets than it already has.

    And that’s all why the ques­tion of “what was Bay­er think­ing when they made this pur­chase?” is a rather omi­nous one for not just Bay­er’s share­hold­ers but every­one else too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 16, 2018, 11:39 am
  2. The Ger­man tabloid Bild just report­ed on the Nazi his­to­ry of the fam­i­ly behind JAB Hold­ings. Sur­prise! It turns out Albert Reimann Sr. and Jr. were big time Nazis and the com­pa­ny employed forced labor. The report found that French and Russ­ian pris­on­ers of war were used in the fam­i­ly’s fac­to­ries and pri­vate vil­las dur­ing WWII. Reimann Jr. once com­plained to the may­or of Lud­wigshafen that the pris­on­ers weren’t work­ing hard enough. Reimann Sr. and Jr. were also big anti-Semi­tes and sup­port­ers of Adolf Hitler and Sr. donat­ed to the SS as ear­ly as 1933.

    The Reimann fam­i­ly, cur­rent­ly the sec­ond wealth­i­est in Ger­many, actu­al­ly com­mis­sioned a his­to­ri­an in 2014 to inves­ti­gate the fam­i­ly’s ties to the Nazis. That work is still ongo­ing and was­n’t part of this report so it sounds like there might be even more Nazi rev­e­la­tions on the way. As fam­i­ly spokesman Peter Harf put it, “It is all correct...Reimann Senior and Reimann Junior were guilty. The two men have passed away, but they actu­al­ly belonged in prison.”:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Ger­man bil­lion­aire fam­i­ly that owns Ein­stein Bros. Bagels admits Nazi past

    By Eli Rosen­berg
    March 25, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    The Ger­man fam­i­ly whose hold­ing com­pa­ny owns con­trol­ling stakes in com­pa­nies such as Krispy Kreme Dough­nuts, Pan­era Bread, Pret a Manger and Ein­stein Bros. Bagels prof­it­ed from the hor­rors of the Nazi regime, accord­ing to a bomb­shell report in a Ger­man news­pa­per.

    The tabloid Bild, one of Germany’s most pop­u­lar papers, report­ed that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr., whose fam­i­ly backs JAB Hold­ings, had sig­nif­i­cant links to the Third Reich.

    JAB Hold­ings is a pri­vate­ly held con­glom­er­ate that has invest­ments in a wide port­fo­lio of glob­al com­pa­nies, among them Peet’s Cof­fee, Keurig Green Moun­tain and Dr Pep­per-Snap­ple. It acquired Ein­stein Noah Restau­rant Group, which owns three nation­al bagel chains — Ein­stein Bros., Noah’s New York Bagels and Man­hat­tan Bagel — in 2014.

    The report found that Russ­ian civil­ians and French pris­on­ers of war were used as forced labor­ers in the family’s fac­to­ries and pri­vate vil­las around World War II, when it was involved in chem­i­cals-relat­ed man­u­fac­tur­ing most­ly for the food indus­try, accord­ing to Deutsche Welle.

    “It is all cor­rect,” fam­i­ly spokesman Peter Harf, who is one of two man­ag­ing part­ners of JAB Hold­ings, told Bild. “Reimann Senior and Reimann Junior were guilty. The two men have passed away, but they actu­al­ly belonged in prison.”

    The two men died in 1954 and 1984, respec­tive­ly.

    Oth­er dis­clo­sures in the report include rev­e­la­tions that the two men were anti-Semi­tes and avowed sup­port­ers of Adolf Hitler, and Reimann Sr. donat­ed to the para­mil­i­tary SS force as ear­ly as 1933, accord­ing to Deutsche Welle.

    Reimann Jr. once com­plained to the may­or of Lud­wigshafen, where the fam­i­ly had an indus­tri­al chem­i­cals com­pa­ny, that the French pris­on­ers of war weren’t work­ing hard enough, Deutsche Welle report­ed.

    The report was a reminder of the way that some pri­vate busi­ness­es that are will­ing to put moral and human rights con­cerns aside are able to prof­it from the repres­sion of fas­cist regimes. Many Ger­man com­pa­nies have reck­oned with his­to­ries of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazi regime, among them: Hugo Boss, Mer­cedes-Benz, BMW and oth­ers.

    Harf told Bild that the com­pa­ny plans to give about $11 mil­lion to char­i­ty after learn­ing of the family’s his­to­ry, the AFP report­ed. He said that the fam­i­ly had been look­ing into its past and in 2014 com­mis­sioned a his­to­ri­an, Paul Erk­er of Munich Uni­ver­si­ty, to study its ties to the Nazi regime, a work that has yet to be com­plet­ed after more than four years. Harf said that the fam­i­ly plans to release more infor­ma­tion about that study when it is done.

    In an email, Erk­er con­firmed that he was inves­ti­gat­ing the company’s his­to­ry dur­ing the Nazi era.

    “It is about an over­all sto­ry also in the indus­try con­text, but in which the sub­ject of forced labor plays a cen­tral role,” Erk­er said. “The man­date includes absolute sci­en­tif­ic inde­pen­dence and unre­strict­ed access to files, includ­ing the Benckiser Archive and fam­i­ly records. I ask for your under­stand­ing that I can­not pro­vide any infor­ma­tion on the details and results of the ongo­ing project.”

    Die Indus­triellen-Dynas­tie Reimann gilt heute mit 33 Mil­liar­den Euro als die zweitre­ich­ste Fam­i­lie Deutsch­lands. pic.twitter.com/GxkEBbBruJ

    — BILD am SONNTAG (@BILDamSONNTAG) March 24, 2019

    JAB Hold­ings was found­ed in the 1820s by Johann A. Benckiser, accord­ing to CB insights, and now serves as the “invest­ment vehi­cle” for the Reimann fam­i­ly.

    It holds stakes in com­pa­nies behind brands such as Mucinex, Woo­lite and Durex con­doms, accord­ing to CB Insights, and is a major­i­ty share­hold­er of the beau­ty prod­uct com­pa­ny Coty. In recent years, its aggres­sive moves to expand beyond the world of house­hold goods have drawn atten­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the world of cof­fee and baked goods. It has report­ed­ly spent more than $40 bil­lion to acquire brands such as Peet’s Cof­fee, Cari­bou Cof­fee and Keurig Green Moun­tain, Stump­town Cof­fee Roast­ers and Intel­li­gentsia.

    The Reimann fam­i­ly, which has been described repeat­ed­ly in news reports as “secre­tive,” has an esti­mat­ed wealth of some 33 bil­lion euros, or about $37 bil­lion, accord­ing to the AFP, and is believed to be the sec­ond-wealth­i­est in Ger­many. JAB Hold­ings did not respond to a request for com­ment.

    Erk­er said he did not have an exact date when he expect­ed to have his report ready.

    Accord­ing to the AFP, the com­pa­ny employed as many as 175 forced labor­ers, and pro­duced items for the Nazi mil­i­tary and weapons indus­try. The com­pa­ny has not pro­vid­ed com­pen­sa­tion to any of the forced labor­ers, “but we have since talked about what we can do now,” Harf said.

    ...

    ———-

    “Ger­man bil­lion­aire fam­i­ly that owns Ein­stein Bros. Bagels admits Nazi past” by Eli Rosen­berg; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 03/25/2019

    The Reimann fam­i­ly, which has been described repeat­ed­ly in news reports as “secre­tive,” has an esti­mat­ed wealth of some 33 bil­lion euros, or about $37 bil­lion, accord­ing to the AFP, and is believed to be the sec­ond-wealth­i­est in Ger­many. JAB Hold­ings did not respond to a request for com­ment.”

    This isn’t just any wealth fam­i­ly with a dark fam­i­ly secret. This is the sec­ond wealth­i­est fam­i­ly in Ger­many, with hold­ings that include Peet’s Cof­fee, Cari­bou Cof­fee, Stump­town Cof­fee Roast­ers, Keurig Green Moun­tain, Intel­li­gen­sia, Dr Pep­per-Snap­ple, Ein­stein Bros., Noah’s New York Bagels, Man­hat­tan Bagel, Mucinex, Woo­lite, Durex con­doms, and the beau­ty prod­uct com­pa­ny Coty. And that’s just some of the brands held by JAB Hold­ings:

    ...
    JAB Hold­ings is a pri­vate­ly held con­glom­er­ate that has invest­ments in a wide port­fo­lio of glob­al com­pa­nies, among them Peet’s Cof­fee, Keurig Green Moun­tain and Dr Pep­per-Snap­ple. It acquired Ein­stein Noah Restau­rant Group, which owns three nation­al bagel chains — Ein­stein Bros., Noah’s New York Bagels and Man­hat­tan Bagel — in 2014.

    ...

    JAB Hold­ings was found­ed in the 1820s by Johann A. Benckiser, accord­ing to CB insights, and now serves as the “invest­ment vehi­cle” for the Reimann fam­i­ly.

    It holds stakes in com­pa­nies behind brands such as Mucinex, Woo­lite and Durex con­doms, accord­ing to CB Insights, and is a major­i­ty share­hold­er of the beau­ty prod­uct com­pa­ny Coty. In recent years, its aggres­sive moves to expand beyond the world of house­hold goods have drawn atten­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the world of cof­fee and baked goods. It has report­ed­ly spent more than $40 bil­lion to acquire brands such as Peet’s Cof­fee, Cari­bou Cof­fee and Keurig Green Moun­tain, Stump­town Cof­fee Roast­ers and Intel­li­gentsia.
    ...

    And this incred­i­ble fam­i­ly wealth, along with the fam­i­ly’s exten­sive secre­cy, rais­es obvi­ous ques­tions about how this Nazi past may have played into the accu­mu­la­tion of such wealth. Of course, that turns out to include the use of pris­on­er of war forced labor. It’s one of the more shock­ing find­ings, along with the rev­e­la­tion that Reimann Sr and Jr were both avowed sup­port­ers of Hitler and Sr. donat­ed to the SS as ear­ly as 1933:

    ...
    The report found that Russ­ian civil­ians and French pris­on­ers of war were used as forced labor­ers in the family’s fac­to­ries and pri­vate vil­las around World War II, when it was involved in chem­i­cals-relat­ed man­u­fac­tur­ing most­ly for the food indus­try, accord­ing to Deutsche Welle.

    “It is all cor­rect,” fam­i­ly spokesman Peter Harf, who is one of two man­ag­ing part­ners of JAB Hold­ings, told Bild. “Reimann Senior and Reimann Junior were guilty. The two men have passed away, but they actu­al­ly belonged in prison.”

    The two men died in 1954 and 1984, respec­tive­ly.

    Oth­er dis­clo­sures in the report include rev­e­la­tions that the two men were anti-Semi­tes and avowed sup­port­ers of Adolf Hitler, and Reimann Sr. donat­ed to the para­mil­i­tary SS force as ear­ly as 1933, accord­ing to Deutsche Welle.

    Reimann Jr. once com­plained to the may­or of Lud­wigshafen, where the fam­i­ly had an indus­tri­al chem­i­cals com­pa­ny, that the French pris­on­ers of war weren’t work­ing hard enough, Deutsche Welle report­ed.

    ...

    Accord­ing to the AFP, the com­pa­ny employed as many as 175 forced labor­ers, and pro­duced items for the Nazi mil­i­tary and weapons indus­try. The com­pa­ny has not pro­vid­ed com­pen­sa­tion to any of the forced labor­ers, “but we have since talked about what we can do now,” Harf said.
    ...

    Is this the extent of the Reimann fam­i­ly Nazi rev­e­la­tions? We’ll see. The fam­i­ly has com­mis­sioned its own study of its past and that work is still in progress:

    ...
    Harf told Bild that the com­pa­ny plans to give about $11 mil­lion to char­i­ty after learn­ing of the family’s his­to­ry, the AFP report­ed. He said that the fam­i­ly had been look­ing into its past and in 2014 com­mis­sioned a his­to­ri­an, Paul Erk­er of Munich Uni­ver­si­ty, to study its ties to the Nazi regime, a work that has yet to be com­plet­ed after more than four years. Harf said that the fam­i­ly plans to release more infor­ma­tion about that study when it is done.

    In an email, Erk­er con­firmed that he was inves­ti­gat­ing the company’s his­to­ry dur­ing the Nazi era.

    “It is about an over­all sto­ry also in the indus­try con­text, but in which the sub­ject of forced labor plays a cen­tral role,” Erk­er said. “The man­date includes absolute sci­en­tif­ic inde­pen­dence and unre­strict­ed access to files, includ­ing the Benckiser Archive and fam­i­ly records. I ask for your under­stand­ing that I can­not pro­vide any infor­ma­tion on the details and results of the ongo­ing project.”

    ...

    Erk­er said he did not have an exact date when he expect­ed to have his report ready.
    ...

    Let’s also not for­get that the Reimann fam­i­ly is so secre­tive that fam­i­ly mem­bers sign a pledge when they turn 18 to stay out of the pub­lic as much as pos­si­ble. So we have to ask at this point: is that extreme fam­i­ly secre­cy some­how tied to its his­tor­i­cal sup­port for the far right? Giv­en the extreme secre­cy over the rea­son for the extreme secre­cy we’re forced to spec­u­late and right now it’s hard to avoid spec­u­la­tion that some­how involves the Nazis.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 25, 2019, 10:29 am

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