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Then and Now

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Quandt Fam­i­ly Val­ues: BMW heir Har­ald Quandt (in uni­form) with his in-laws

COMMENT: A major ele­ment of dis­cus­sion on this blog has been the spawn­ing of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work from the polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic forces under­pin­ning Nazi Ger­many. Con­trol­ling the Ger­man core cor­po­ra­tions as well as pow­er­ful inter­ests around the world, the Bor­mann group is pre­em­i­nent on the world eco­nom­ic land­scape.

Not­ing that BMW and Audi are con­trolled by the heirs of Joseph Goebbels (whose stepchild inher­it­ed the Quandt indus­tri­al empire), A Bloomberg sto­ry notes that Mer­cedes-Benz also has sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal par­tic­i­pa­tion by the Quandts.

In a series of com­ments on a blog, there was an exchange about BMW with­hold­ing ads when The Atlantic reviewed a book about the Holo­caust or WWII. BMW is owned by the Quandt firm, head­ed for years by Joseph Goebbels’ son-in-law.

To gain per­spec­tive on the bril­liant, far-sight­ed, thor­ough and alto­geth­er cyn­i­cal pol­i­cy real­ized by cor­po­rate Ger­many and the remark­able, dead­ly Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work that con­trols it, we recap Dorothy Thompson’s analy­sis of Germany’s plans for world dom­i­nance by a cen­tral­ized Euro­pean eco­nom­ic union. (In this, we can see the plans of pan-Ger­man the­o­reti­cian Friedrich List, as real­ized by the Euro­pean Mon­e­tary Union.) Ms. Thomp­son was writ­ing in The New York Her­ald Tri­bune on May 31, 1940! Her com­ments are repro­duced by Tetens on pages 92–93 .

Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin by T.H. Tetens; Hen­ry Schu­man [HC]; 1953; pp. 92–93 [Sup­ple­ment­ed by excerpts from the orig­i­nal New York Her­ald Tri­bune arti­cle, obtained from the library].

“The Ger­mans have a clear plan of what they intend to do in case of vic­to­ry. I believe that I know the essen­tial details of that plan. I have heard it from a suf­fi­cient num­ber of impor­tant Ger­mans to cred­it its authen­tic­i­ty . . . Germany’s plan is to make a cus­toms union of Europe, with com­plete finan­cial and eco­nom­ic con­trol cen­tered in Berlin. This will cre­ate at once the largest free trade area and the largest planned econ­o­my in the world. In West­ern Europe alone . . . there will be an eco­nom­ic uni­ty of 400 mil­lion per­sons . . . To these will be added the resources of the British, French, Dutch and Bel­gian empires. These will be pooled in the name of Europa Ger­man­i­ca . . .”

“The Ger­mans count upon polit­i­cal pow­er fol­low­ing eco­nom­ic pow­er, and not vice ver­sa. Ter­ri­to­r­i­al changes do not con­cern them, because there will be no ‘France’ or ‘Eng­land,’ except as lan­guage groups. Lit­tle imme­di­ate con­cern is felt regard­ing polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions . . . . No nation will have the con­trol of its own finan­cial or eco­nom­ic sys­tem or of its cus­toms. The Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of all coun­tries will be accom­plished by eco­nom­ic pres­sure. In all coun­tries, con­tacts have been estab­lished long ago with sym­pa­thet­ic busi­ness­men and indus­tri­al­ists . . . . As far as the Unit­ed States is con­cerned, the plan­ners of the World Ger­man­i­ca laugh off the idea of any armed inva­sion. They say that it will be com­plete­ly unnec­es­sary to take mil­i­tary action against the Unit­ed States to force it to play ball with this sys­tem. . . . Here, as in every oth­er coun­try, they have estab­lished rela­tions with numer­ous indus­tries and com­mer­cial orga­ni­za­tions, to whom they will offer advan­tages in co-oper­a­tion with Ger­many.

Cer­tain con­di­tions will have to be met. No orders will be tak­en from or giv­en by per­son­al­i­ties unfa­vor­ably regard­ed by the Nazis. No adver­tis­ing con­tracts will be placed with news­pa­pers direct­ed by or pub­lish­ing the work of pro-Ally or anti-Nazi edi­tors or writ­ers.…

The Ger­man plan­ners pre­dict a stam­pede of the South to col­lab­o­rate with this sys­tem. This stam­pede will be fos­tered and direct­ed by their agents.”…

. . .”

Lon­don­Lee (922)
I worked at The Atlantic when Wal­lace wrote a (ter­rif­ic) fea­ture for them about talk radio. Accord­ing to our man­ag­ing edi­tor he was a sweet­heart to deal with.

True: When­ev­er the books sec­tion reviewed some­thing about WWII or The Holo­caust (which was often), BMW pulled their ads for that issue. . . .

. . . They were just very sen­si­tive about it giv­en their his­to­ry. I was in the art dept so could­n’t tell you any details, it just became a run­ning joke: “Oh, Ben has reviewed anoth­er WWII book! Ad sales will be pissed!”

“Nazi Goebbels’ Step-Grand­chil­dren Are Hid­den Bil­lion­aires” by David de Jong; Bloomberg News; 1/28/2013.

In the spring of 1945, Har­ald Quandt, a 23-year-old offi­cer in the Ger­man Luft­waffe, was being held as a pris­on­er of war by Allied forces in the Libyan port city of Beng­hazi when he received a farewell let­ter from his moth­er, Mag­da Goebbels — the wife of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da min­is­ter Joseph Goebbels.

The hand-writ­ten note con­firmed the dev­as­tat­ing news he had heard weeks ear­li­er: His moth­er had com­mit­ted sui­cide with her hus­band on May 1, after slip­ping their six chil­dren cyanide cap­sules in Adolf Hitler’s under­ground bunker in Berlin. . . .

. . . Quandt was released from cap­tiv­i­ty in 1947. Sev­en years lat­er, he and his half-broth­er Her­bert — Har­ald was the only remain­ing child from Mag­da Goebbels’ first mar­riage — would inher­it the indus­tri­al empire built by their father, Guen­ther Quandt, which had pro­duced Mauser firearms and anti-air­craft mis­siles for the Third Reich’s war machine. Among their most valu­able assets at the time was a stake in car man­u­fac­tur­er Daim­ler AG. (DAI) They bought a part of Bay­erische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) a few years lat­er.

While the half-broth­ers passed away decades ago, their lega­cy has endured. Herbert’s wid­ow, Johan­na Quandt, 86, and their chil­dren Susanne Klat­ten and Ste­fan Quandt, have remained in the pub­lic eye as BMW’s dom­i­nant share­hold­ers. The bil­lion­aire daugh­ters of Har­ald Quandt — Kata­ri­na Geller-Herr, 61, Gabriele Quandt, 60, Anette-Ange­li­ka May-Thies, 58, and 50-year-old Colleen-Bet­ti­na Rosen­blat-Mo — have kept a low­er pro­file.

The four sis­ters inher­it­ed about 1.5 bil­lion deutsche marks ($760 mil­lion) after the death of their moth­er, Inge, in 1978, accord­ing to the family’s sanc­tioned biog­ra­phy, “Die Quandts.” They man­age their wealth through the Har­ald Quandt Hold­ing GmbH, a Bad Hom­burg, Ger­many-based fam­i­ly invest­ment com­pa­ny and trust named after their father. Fritz Beck­er, the chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of the fam­i­ly enti­ties, said the sib­lings real­ized aver­age annu­al returns above 7 per­cent from its found­ing in 1981 through 1996. Since then, the returns have aver­aged 7.6 per­cent.

“The fam­i­ly wants to stay pri­vate and that is an accept­able sit­u­a­tion for me,” said Beck­er in an inter­view at his Bad Hom­burg office. “We invest our mon­ey glob­al­ly and if it’s $1 bil­lion, $500 mil­lion or $3 bil­lion, who cares?” (Ital­ics added.) . . .

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