German Pizza Giant Dr Oetker Reveals Nazi-Era Past
October 10, 2013
The head of Dr Oetker - one of the world's biggest frozen pizza makers - has revealed the family firm's links to Germany's Nazi party.
Company chairman August Oetker was speaking ahead of a new book that studies the history of the family's links with the Nazis. His father, Rudolf-August Oetker, was a member of Adolf Hitler's Waffen SS. Rudolf-August Oetker ran the company, based in Bielefeld, northern Germany, after World War II and died in 2007.
"My father was a National Socialist," August Oetker said in an interview with Die Zeit newspaper. "He didn't want to talk about this time. He said, 'children, leave me in peace'."
He said his father, who had joined the Nazi party in the 1930s, had been influenced by his step-father, Richard Kaselowsky, who was a staunch supporter of Hitler and ran Dr Oetker before him. Mr Oetker said he welcomed the publication next week of the book Dr Oetker and National Socialism, written by a German historian and funded by the company.
"I feel now we know the facts, now the fog has lifted," he said.
Over the decades, many German companies have come under pressure to come to terms with their links to the Nazis and their actions during the 1930s and 1940s.