The Reimann Family, who own JAB Holding Co. — the company that has a controlling interest in Krispy Kreme, Panera, and Keurig Dr. Pepper — plan to donate over $11 million to charity after discovering some dark family ties to Nazi Germany. The announcement of the donation comes on the heels of a report by Bild, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, who uncovered documents in Germany, France, and the U.S. that reveal Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers, and donated money to the paramilitary SS before the Nazis came to power.
According to AP, Peter Harf the family’s spokesman and managing partner of JAB Holding, confirmed the paper’s findings, “It is all correct… Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty… they belonged in jail.” The elder Reimanns, who have since passed, reportedly did not talk much about the Nazi era, though some ties to the Nazi party had been revealed as early as 1978.
Prior to Bild’s investigation, the Reimann family had already sought the help of a historian at the University of Munich to dig deeper into the family’s history, after finding concerning documents in their possession. Preliminary findings from the historian’s stunned the younger generation of the Reimann family, “We were all ashamed and turned as white as the wall… There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting,” remarked Harf, adding that once the full report was complete, it would be released to the public.
Business Insider reports that plans for the donation were made before Bild’s report went public, though a charity has not yet been decided as the recipient of the $11.3 million.