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The New Germany and The Old Nazis

by T.H. Tetens
1961, Ran­dom House
286 pages.
Down­load Pt. 1 | Down­load Pt. 2

No book doc­u­ments the fail­ure of the Allies’ de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion poli­cies fol­low­ing World War II bet­ter than T. H. Tetens’ The New Ger­many and the Old Nazis. Build­ing effec­tive­ly on their plans to go under­ground, final­ized dur­ing the lat­ter years of the war, the Third Reich suc­cess­ful­ly made the tran­si­tion to “peace­time” gov­er­nance of  the “new” Fed­er­al Repub­lic of  Ger­many.

Dom­i­nat­ing the polit­i­cal,  nation­al secu­ri­ty,  judi­cial and eco­nom­ic hier­ar­chies of the Ger­man state, the Third Reich was able to real­ize goals set by Hitler and com­plet­ed by his cho­sen agents in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic.

Two long excerpts effec­tive­ly char­ac­ter­ize the dimen­sion of the post­war Nazi suc­cess. Him­self a Nazi sym­pa­thiz­er and col­lab­o­ra­tor dur­ing the war, [Ger­man chan­cel­lor Kon­rad] Ade­nauer was real­ly a fig­ure­head, with con­trol of the chan­cel­lor’s office falling to Dr. Hans Globke. (Infor­ma­tion about Ade­nauer’s wartime col­lab­o­ra­tion is avail­able in AFA #2.)

Globke–the “emi­nence grise” behind “Der Alte” (Adenauer)–was the man who had imple­ment­ed the Nazi racial laws, under which the Third Reich’s exter­mi­na­tion pro­grams were per­formed. Globke’s real pow­er was such that he screened Ade­nauer’s mail.

. . . And the one direct­ly involved with the for­mu­la­tion of these laws was Dr. Hans Globke. It was he who draft­ed the text of Hitler’s race law and who wrote the noto­ri­ous “Com­men­tary” inter­pret­ing this Nurem­berg law, which paved the way for the exter­mi­na­tion of mil­lions of human beings.

When the Nazis decid­ed to car­ry out the mass liq­ui­da­tion of Euro­pean Jews, Dr. Globke’s direct supe­ri­or, Min­is­te­r­i­al Coun­sel Bernard Loes­ner, him­self a Nazi par­ty mem­ber, had scru­ples of con­science and resigned from office. His post was tak­en over by Dr. Hans Globke. As chief legal advis­er and head of the Office of Jew­ish Affairs, Dr. Globke thus became a direct par­tic­i­pant in the gigan­tic ven­ture to make Ger­many juden­rein. In apply­ing the racial laws Dr. Globke worked hand in hand with the Main Secu­ri­ty Office, the head­quar­ters of the SS mur­der orga­ni­za­tion. Der Spiegel of Sep­tem­ber 28, 1960, report­ed a case which reveals that Dr. Globke had direct deal­ings with the SS Colonel Adolf Eich­mann.

More than that, the evi­dence shows that Dr. Globke was a key admin­is­tra­tor in the “Final Solu­tion,” the mas­ter plan for the exter­mi­na­tion of the Jews. The arti­cle in Der Spiegel quot­ed the tes­ti­mo­ny of a Wehrma­cht offi­cer, Max Merten, who  togeth­er with Eich­mann sug­gest­ed in 1943 that 20,000 Jews in Mace­do­nia (marked for the gas cham­bers in Auschwitz) should be released and shipped to Pales­tine. It was obvi­ous­ly not a feel­ing of human­i­ty, but rather a per­son­al greed for  mon­ey, as well as a short­age of trans­porta­tion facil­i­ties to the con­cen­tra­tion camps, that moti­vat­ed both Nazis to make this sug­ges­tion. . . .

. . . The Ger­man press has called Dr. Globke “The Gray Emi­nence,” “the pow­er behind the throne,” and “The Spi­der.” Die Welt of Octo­ber 30, 1955, described Dr. Globke as “the sec­ond-in-com­mand in the con­trol tow­er of the Ger­man ship of state.” Accord­ing to Die Welt, Dr. Globke is the “only man who has access to Ade­nauer at all times or who can call the Chan­cel­lor at any hour.” The paper adds: “Globke’s polit­i­cal pow­er rests entire­ly on the con­fi­dence which emanates from his chief, and on his dom­i­na­tion over the offi­cial appa­ra­tus which must be regard­ed as his exclu­sive hand­i­work. of state.”. . .

The New Ger­many and the Old Nazis; pp. 37–40.

Globke, in turn, was a pri­ma­ry touch­stone for a Nazi gov­ern­ment in exile, oper­at­ing effec­tive­ly from Spain.

New­er lis­ten­ers may well be con­found­ed by the fre­quent ref­er­ences  to “The Under­ground Reich,” an under­stand­able reac­tion, under the cir­cum­stances. Tetens’ vol­ume details the coup attempt of 1953, in which SS offi­cer Wern­er Nau­mann (pro­pa­gan­da min­is­ter Goebbels’ hand-picked suc­ces­sor) tried to seize pow­er, with the assis­tance of oth­er Third Reich alum­ni.

Of con­sum­mate sig­nif­i­cance in this con­text is the exec­u­tive force behind Nau­man­n’s attempt–a fuehrungsring that admin­is­tered the “new” Ger­many on behalf of a Nazi gov­ern­ment in exile in  Spain.

Tak­en in con­junc­tion with the mate­r­i­al in Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile, the dis­clo­sure that Rein­hard Gehlen’s relo­ca­tion of his spy out­fit to U.S. intel­li­gence was cleared with a Ger­man chain of com­mand that had been pre­served intact,  as well as the rela­tion­ship between Helene Von Damm, Otto von Bolschwing and the Nazi fac­tion of the GOP, the Tetens dis­cus­sion of the Nau­mann coup per­mits us to view much of the struc­ture of this Under­ground Reich. A num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions to remem­ber  in this con­text:

  • Once Nau­mann and his fel­low con­spir­a­tors were released into the cus­tody of the Ade­nauer gov­ern­ment and the post­war judi­cia­ry,  all charges were dis­missed.
  • The lawyers for the defen­dants threat­ened to dis­close the full mea­sure of the con­spir­a­cy and its backers–knowledge that would have been dev­as­tat­ing to the West. That infor­ma­tion would have played direct­ly into the hands of the for­mer Sovi­et Union and its pro­pa­gan­da arm. In addi­tion, many in the non-com­mu­nist world would have been gen­uine­ly appalled at the degree of col­lab­o­ra­tion.
  • The fuehrungsring was charged with ini­ti­at­ing con­spir­a­cies in for­eign coun­tries on behalf of Ger­man car­tels.
  • The Nazi under­ground (includ­ing the Nazi Par­ty itself) had pen­e­trat­ed diverse enti­ties, includ­ing com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions.
  • This infor­ma­tion dove­tails per­fect­ly with con­tent of The Nazis Go Under­ground and Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile, the lat­ter dis­tilled into FTR #305.

. . . . The next morn­ing short­ly after sev­en, the head of the press divi­sion of the For­eign Office, Sir William Rids­dale, dis­trib­uted a com­mu­nique which stat­ed that a group of sev­en for­mer high Nazi offi­cials had been arrest­ed in Dues­sel­dorf and Ham­burg for hav­ing plot­ted the over­throw of the Bonn Repub­lic. The offi­cial announce­ment said that the British author­i­ties had been aware for some time that the sev­en men had been involved in a plot and that the arrest had been made under the author­i­ty of For­eign Min­is­ter Eden. The ring­leader of the group was a Dr. Wern­er Nau­mann, who, until the Ger­man col­lapse, had served as State Sec­re­tary in Dr. Goebbels’ Pro­pa­gan­da Min­istry. Dr. Nau­mann had been with Hitler dur­ing the very last days in the bunker of the Chan­cellery in Berlin, and he was the one des­ig­nat­ed by the Fuehrer in his tes­ta­ment to suc­ceed Dr. Goebbels as Pro­pa­gan­da Min­is­ter. . . .

. . . The British reply was polite but deter­mined. It point­ed out that the occu­pa­tion author­i­ties had been pro­found­ly dis­turbed when they had found evi­dence of an advanced plot,  insti­gat­ed by a vast Nazi net­work  spread­ing from Dus­sel­dorf to Cairo,  Madrid,  Buenos AIres,  and Mal­mo,  Swe­den. They stat­ed fur­ther­more that they had had to pro­ceed with the utmost secre­cy, since the plot­ters had close con­tacts with high gov­ern­ment cir­cles in Bonn. Accord­ing to the New York Times) the British sub­mit­ted evi­dence to the Chan­cel­lor which “revealed a wide-spread plot with ram­i­fi­ca­tions into many polit­i­cal par­ties and oth­er influ­en­tial orga­ni­za­tions of West Ger­many.” Faced with the grave impli­ca­tions of the Nau­mann con­spir­a­cy, Dr. Ade­nauer and his Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Dr. Thomas Dehler, had to con­firm the seri­ous­ness of the case. . . .

. . . After tak­ing over the inves­ti­ga­tion, Dr. Ade­nauer admit­ted at a press con­fer­ence “the exis­tence of a far-flung plot” and that Nau­man­n’s activ­i­ties “had been financed with con­sid­er­able sums by Nazi groups in for­eign coun­tries.” Min­is­ter of Jus­tice Dehler told reporters that the Nau­mann group had devel­oped “a most cun­ning and dia­bol­ic sys­tem of infil­tra­tion” and that the con­spir­a­cy rep­re­sent­ed “an acute threat to the demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic.” The cap­tured Nau­mann doc­u­ments, he said, “gave clear proof that the aim of the group had been to fill key posi­tions m all Right­ist par­ties with hard-core Nazis and there­by cre­ate pro­pa­gan­da vehi­cles which lat­er could be used for a broad neo-Nazi mass move­ment.”  Accord­ing to the Wies­baden­er Kuri­er of May 6, 1953, Dr. Dehler quot­ed from one doc­u­ment in which Nau­mann expressed the hope that, if his scheme suc­ceed­ed, “the com­ing elec­tion might be the last of its kind.”

Soon after the British had trans­ferred the pros­e­cu­tion of the case to the Ger­man author­i­ties, the lawyers of the arrest­ed plot­ters began to put pres­sure on the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to sup­press the case and release their clients. The Bre­mer Nachricht­en report­ed on June 15, 1953, that the Nau­mann lawyers had even threat­ened to dis­cuss “the true back­ground of the case open­ly” if their clients were not released soon.

By the end of June 1953 Dr. Nau­mann and his co-plot­ters were sud­den­ly released, in vio­la­tion of the most rigid stip­u­la­tions of Ger­man law and court pro­ce­dure. A year and a half lat­er, in Decem­ber 1954, in spite of the fact that the pros­e­cu­tor had brought an indict­ment against Nau­mann charg­ing con­spir­a­cy against the con­sti­tu­tion of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic, the high­est court qui­et­ly dis­missed the case with­out any tri­al or hear­ing. Even before the plot­ters were released, the British became sus­pi­cious about the han­dling of the Nau­mann case and leaked some of the incrim­i­nat­ing mate­r­i­al to a staunch­ly demo­c­ra­t­ic Ger­man news­pa­per which had gained quite a rep­u­ta­tion for its reveal­ing arti­cles on the infil­tra­tion of for­mer Nazis into the Ade­nauer admin­is­tra­tion. Dur­ing the ear­ly part of June 1953 the Frank­furter Rund­schau pub­lished five arti­cles deal­ing with Nau­man­n’s tapped tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions, notes from his appoint­ment cal­en­dar, cor­re­spon­dence between the plot­ters, and sig­nif­i­cant excerpts from his diary. The pub­lished mate­r­i­al gave a full inside view of the scope and char­ac­ter of the con­spir­a­cy. The descrip­tion of the intri­cate struc­ture of the plot and the back­ground of the many peo­ple involved filled whole pages in the Frank­furter Rund­schau. Here it is suf­fi­cient to state the main objec­tives as they emerged from the con­fis­cat­ed mate­r­i­al:

1] Use the demo­c­ra­t­ic con­sti­tu­tion as a facade behind which a new Nazi move­ment could be orga­nized, designed to take over the appa­ra­tus of the state when time and cir­cum­stances would make such a step nec­es­sary and prof­itable.

2] Let Chan­cel­lor Ade­nauer serve as a front, exact­ly as Gus­tav Stre­se­mann did dur­ing the twen­ties, behind which a new Ger­man pow­er could devel­op undis­turbed with­out arous­ing pre­ma­ture sus­pi­cions.

3] Apply a new method of infil­tra­tion (Unter­wan­derung) in order to con­quer the exist­ing par­ties and the admin­is­tra­tive machin­ery of the state from with­in. Avoid noisy nation­al­is­tic demon­stra­tions, flag-wav­ing and inci­dents; use the more effi­cient and unsus­pi­cious pro­ce­dure of work­ing in small cells, which some day, at an oppor­tune moment, might con­sol­i­date them­selves into a broad mass orga­ni­za­tion.

The detailed plan, which the Ger­mans soon called the “Nau-Nau” strat­e­gy, instruct­ed for­mer well-known Nazi lead­ers to stay dis­creet­ly in the back­ground until the time was ripe for action. In the mean­time the lead­ers were to use all their con­nec­tions to bring bright and capa­ble young Nazis, espe­cial­ly those trained in the Hitler Youth, into influ­en­tial posi­tions, not only in the Ade­nauer coali­tion par­ties but also into all oth­er polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions.

The Nau­mann doc­u­ments revealed much more than a mere strate­gic blue­print of how to sub­vert a state appa­ra­tus or the exist­ing par­ties from with­in. There was a detailed record of how Dr. Nau­mann had used his con­tacts with top indus­tri­al­ists and lead­ing politi­cians to fill well-paid posi­tions in the Free Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty with scores of young, able Nazis who once had learned the tricks of the trade in the Goebbels’ Pro­pa­gan­da Min­istry. Dr. Nau­man­n’s most devot­ed col­lab­o­ra­tor in this enter­prise was his inti­mate friend, Dr. Ernst Achen­bach, a for­mer Ribben­trop diplo­mat who, after the war, had become a promi­nent lawyer in the Ruhr dis­trict. It was report­ed that Achen­bach and Nau­mann had been close friends dur­ing the war when they served togeth­er in impor­tant posi­tions under Ambas­sador Otto Abetz in the Ger­man Embassy in occu­pied Paris. It was Dr. Achen­bach who, in 1943, rec­om­mend­ed to the For­eign Office that two thou­sand Jews be shipped to the East as reprisal for an attack on two Nazi offi­cers. . . .

. . . A lengthy British white paper on the Nau­mann-Achen­bach plot was ready to be released in August 1953, when it was sud­den­ly “with­drawn at the last moment on Cab­i­net instruc­tions, for rea­sons which nev­er have been made quite clear.” There were rumors that the British had yield­ed under the com­bined pres­sure of Wash­ing­ton and Bonn.  The con­fis­cat­ed mate­r­i­al dis­closed that the Achenbach/Naumann group rep­re­sent­ed a so-called Fuehrungsring‑a Nazi high command‑a kind of polit­i­cal Mafia, with head­quar­ters in Madrid, which oper­at­ed by remote con­trol through clever orga­ni­za­tion­al schemes on dif­fer­ent lev­els, serv­ing var­i­ous pur­pos­es. This Gauleit­er group met peri­od­i­cal­ly in the strictest secre­cy, main­ly in Dues­sel­dorf or Ham­burg.

Up to thir­ty for­mer Nazi top offi­cials assem­bled under false names as “old friends” in hotels, where they car­ried on their polit­i­cal schem­ing. Among them were the ex-Gauleit­ers Kauf­mann,  Gro­he,  Flo­ri­an,  Wegen­er,  Frauen­feld,  and Scheel, a num­ber of high offi­cials from the Pro­pa­gan­da Min­istry, some Ribben­trop diplo­mats, and top-rank­ing SS offi­cers. Accord­ing to the British cor­re­spon­dent Alis­tair Horne, the “roll calls of the ex-Gauleit­ers and high SS offi­cials present read like a page from some night­mare Who’s Who of the Third Reich.” These Nazi lead­ers had either escaped the drag­net of the vic­to­ri­ous Allies by false iden­ti­fi­ca­tion papers or had been released from intern­ment after a year or two with­out any sub­stan­tial penal­ty. The aim of the group was “to form the gen­er­al staff of the ‘Nation­al Oppo­si­tion’ ” and build “a new polit­i­cal par­ty out of the exist­ing par­ties of the right.”

Besides the infil­tra­tion of co-con­spir­a­tors into posi­tions of com­mand with­in the exist­ing par­ties and into gov­ern­ment depart­ments and par­ty orga­ni­za­tions on the mid­dle and low­er lev­els, anoth­er task of the Fuehrungsring was to orga­nize and direct mass orga­ni­za­tions, such as vet­er­ans’ and refugee asso­ci­a­tions, which one day could eas­i­ly be used as instru­ments for polit­i­cal action. Oth­er fields of activ­i­ties for the group were polit­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da in for­eign coun­tries, car­ried out in close con­tact with the Nazi head­quar­ters in Madrid, and the ini­ti­a­tion of con­spir­a­cies in for­eign coun­tries on behalf of Ger­man indus­tri­al car­tels. . . .

. . . Long before, they had cap­tured numer­ous key posi­tions in the Ade­nauer admin­is­tra­tion, in polit­i­cal par­ties, and in the Laen­der (state) par­lia­ments. They were exu­ber­ant about their suc­cess­es in one of their secret direc­tives cir­cu­lat­ed by the Nazi head­quar­ters in Madrid. This lengthy doc­u­ment, issued in Sep­tem­ber 1950, spoke  of the total fail­ure of the West­ern occu­pa­tion pol­i­cy and point­ed glee­ful­ly to the suc­cess of the “flex­i­ble and smooth­ly-work­ing orga­ni­za­tion which, at the end of the war, pro­vid­ed the pre­con­di­tion for all the gains that by neces­si­ty emerged for Ger­many out of the chaos of the post­war peri­od .

“. . . Five ‘years after Pots­dam, we can look back with pride at our accom­plish­ments .... Noth­ing hap­pened by chance; every­thing was care­ful­ly planned.” There is con­sid­er­able mate­r­i­al avail­able which gives con­clu­sive proof that the Nazis had made prepa­ra­tions long before their col­lapse to train an army of agents, often skill­ful­ly cam­ou­flaged as “resis­tance fight­ers.” About the suc­cess­ful con­tin­u­a­tion of the Nazi sub­ver­sive activ­i­ties, the Madrid Cir­cu­lar Let­ter had this to say: “Even after the col­lapse, the Nation­al Social­ist par­ty con­tin­ued to work in a cam­ou­flaged way [getarnt] in dozens of seem­ing­ly innocu­ous soci­eties and groups, in order to keep the nation­al out­look of the Ger­man peo­ple alive and undi­lut­ed. Just as many small brooks go toward mak­ing a mighty stream, the var­i­ous nation­al­is­tic and rad­i­cal groups in the Zonen-Reich car­ried out, almost with­out excep­tion, worth­while and pow­er­ful pro­pa­gan­da. Each of these groups had its spe­cial task and had to adjust its work to cer­tain sit­u­a­tions and cir­cum­stances. How­ev­er, it was of chief impor­tance to direct the under­ly­ing trend of the patri­ot­ic pro­pa­gan­da toward the same goal. The more diverse and dis­con­nect­ed these groups appeared on the sur­face, the less they were apt to arouse sus­pi­cion that they were direct­ed and influ­enced by a cen­tral orga­ni­za­tion. We  have placed our con­fi­den­tial agents, observers, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives for spe­cial assign­ments in all par­ties, even among Com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions and their fronts. The greater the num­ber of orga­ni­za­tions con­trolled and influ­enced by us, the more effec­tive will be the results of our work.” . . . .

The New Ger­many and the Old Nazis; pp. 24–33.

From the book jack­et:

More than a decade after World War II the infa­mous crimes of the Third Reich still haunt the world.

Now a new Ger­many has emerged. Its unri­valed ener­gy has already made it one of the most pow­er­ful states in Europe.

What kind of coun­try is this new Ger­many? Is Nazism “dead and buried,” as James B. Conant, our for­mer ambas­sador to Bonn, believes? Has Ger­many real­ly changed? If so, where are the hun­dreds of thou­sands who once faith­ful­ly and eager­ly served Hitler’s reign of ter­ror? And what is life like today for the Jews who are still in Ger­many?

The answers to these ques­tions will shock most Amer­i­cans. Many Nazis have returned to power–in almost every walk of Ger­man life.

The New Ger­many and The Old Nazis is based on thou­sands of news sto­ries and court records, most of them of Ger­man ori­gin. Nam­ing names-includ­ing Ade­nauer’s top aide, Hans Globke–it doc­u­ments in detail the dan­ger­ous resur­gence of Nazism and anti-Semi­tism in the “new” Ger­many.

It describes noto­ri­ous occur­rences of anti-Semi­tism such as the Zind case–and the Ger­man reac­tion to it; it tells of the cur­rent activ­i­ties of the Nazi SS; it reveals for­mer Nazi offi­cials who hold impor­tant posi­tions in the present Ger­man gov­ern­ment; it expos­es for­mer Nazi crim­i­nals and shows how they have been pro­tect­ed; it out­lines the present plans of the under­ground Nazi par­ty; and it presents the shame­ful record of Hitler’s judges who still sit on the bench.

As West Ger­many’s posi­tion in the cold war becomes more cru­cial, it is impor­tant to under­stand its aims and ambi­tions. This out­spo­ken book looks behind the offi­cial façade of Ade­nauer’s Ger­many. What it dis­clos­es is of vital impor­tance to every Amer­i­can.

T.H. Tetens, a lead­ing expert on Ger­man geopol­i­tics, was born in Berlin and worked dur­ing the 1920’s in Ger­many as an econ­o­mist and news­pa­per edi­tor. For more than thir­ty years he has stud­ied the Pan-Ger­man­ic move­ment, the Nazi par­ty, and the strate­gic the­o­ries of Ger­man geopol­i­tics. When Hitler came to pow­er, Mr. Tetens was put in a con­cen­tra­tion camp. He escaped to Switzer­land in 1934. There in pam­phlet and news­pa­per arti­cles he fore­told the com­ing Ger­man assault on Europe.

Mr. Tetens is the direc­tor of the Library on Ger­man­ic and Relat­ed Inter­na­tion­al Prob­lems. He has writ­ten sev­er­al books on the Ger­man ques­tion, the most recent being Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin.

In 1938, Mr. Tetens came to the Unit­ed States and began research on Ger­man prob­lems for gov­ern­ment agen­cies and pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions, From 1946 to 1947, he served with the U.S. War Crimes Com­mis­sion in Wash­ing­ton.


3 comments for “The New Germany and The Old Nazis”

  1. http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/28/step-grandchildren-of-infamous-nazi-propaganda-boss-joseph-goebbels-are-hidden-billionaires/

    Step-grand­chil­dren of infa­mous Nazi pro­pa­gan­da boss Joseph Goebbels are hid­den bil­lion­aires

    David de Jong, Bloomberg News | Jan 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.

    “My dear son! By now we’ve been in the Fuehrerbunker for six days already, Dad­dy, your six lit­tle sib­lings and I, to give our nation­al social­is­tic lives the only pos­si­ble, hon­or­able end­ing,” she wrote. “Har­ald, dear son, I want to give you what I learned in life: Be loy­al! Loy­al to your­self, loy­al to the peo­ple and loy­al to your coun­try!”

    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. The broth­ers took the busi­ness, which had pro­duced Mauser firearms and anti-air­craft mis­siles for the Third Reich’s war machine. Their most valu­able assets became stakes in car man­u­fac­tur­ers Bay­erische Motoren Werke AG and Daim­ler AG.

    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 fifty-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. Dr. 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?”

    Togeth­er, the four sis­ters — and the two chil­dren of a deceased sib­ling — share a for­tune worth at least $6 bil­lion, giv­ing each of them a net worth of $1.2 bil­lion, accord­ing to the Bloomberg Bil­lion­aires Index. They have nev­er appeared indi­vid­u­al­ly as bil­lion­aires on an inter­na­tion­al wealth rank­ing.

    Beck­er declined to pro­vide the exact fig­ure the hold­ing man­ages for the four sis­ters. The sib­lings declined to com­ment for this account, said Ralf-Dieter Brunowsky, a spokesman for the fam­i­ly invest­ment com­pa­ny, in an e‑mail. He said the net worth cal­cu­la­tion was “too high,” declin­ing to be more spe­cif­ic.

    The rise of the Quandt fam­i­ly for­tune shares the same tra­jec­to­ry as Germany’s quest for glob­al dom­i­na­tion in the 20th cen­tu­ry. It began in 1883, when Emil Quandt acquired a tex­tile com­pa­ny owned by his late father-in-law. At the turn of the cen­tu­ry, Emil passed the busi­ness to his eldest son, Guen­ther.

    The younger Quandt saw an oppor­tu­ni­ty with the onset of war in 1914. His fac­to­ries, already one of the biggest cloth­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers for the Ger­man state, quadru­pled their week­ly uni­form pro­duc­tion for the army, accord­ing to “Die Quandts.”

    After Germany’s sur­ren­der four years lat­er, Quandt put the company’s wartime prof­its to use. In 1922, he bought a major­i­ty stake in Accu­mu­la­toren-Fab­rik AG (AFA), a Hagen-based bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­er. Six years lat­er, he took over Berlin-Karl­sruher Indus­triew­erken AG (BKIW), a Berlin-based man­u­fac­tur­er that made sewing machines and sil­ver­ware. The fac­to­ry, once one of Germany’s largest weapon pro­duc­ers, had been forced to retool as part of the country’s dis­ar­ma­ment agree­ment.

    Posted by R. Wilson | January 28, 2013, 9:04 pm
  2. @R. Wil­son–

    The Quandt con­cern was the cov­er for Eich­mann aide Alois Brun­ner’s BND work in Syr­ia. (AFA #3).


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 28, 2013, 9:42 pm
  3. Does any­one know if Emil Quandt or Gun­ther Quant had com­mer­cial rela­tions with IG Far­ben pur­cha­se­ing diestuffs for their tex­tile plants?

    Posted by Mary Benton | November 11, 2019, 7:34 am

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