Back in March, the German newspaper Bild reported that the Reimann family which owns Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Panera Bread, supported Hitler during the war and used Russian and French slave laborers. The tabloid’s four-page report resulted in a statement from the Reimanns that went: “We were ashamed,” and, “These crimes are disgusting.”
Peter Harf, the family’s spokesman and a managing partner of JAB Holding Company, told Bild: “Reimann Sr. and Reimann Jr. were guilty. The two businessmen have passed away, but they actually belonged in prison.”
Bild cited documents uncovered in Germany, France and the US suggesting that in 1943, at least 30% of the work force in the chemical plants belonging to Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. were slaves captured by the Nazis.
The Reimann family announced it would donate $11 million to various charities to atone for their forefathers’ sins, and on Thursday, the family announced it is donating $5.5 million to Holocaust survivors. The money will go to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, to help thousands of needy survivors, according to the Reimann press release.
“Elderly, poor Holocaust survivors need food, medicine and heat in the winter. These funds will enable thousands of survivors to live in dignity,” conference president Julius Berman said in a statement.
The family’s wealth is estimated at around $35 billion.