Alex Constantine - January 20, 2015
Also see: Quandt Family Archive
Family dynasty behind BMW admits to using 50,000 slave labourers during Nazi era
- Magda Goebbels' descendants own a 46.7 per cent stake in BMW
- Her son from a previous marriage, Harald Quandt, inherited a huge fortune
- German family are now the richest in Germany, overtaking Aldi's owners
- Harald was the only of Magda Goebbels' children to survive World War II
- She and Goebbels murdered her other six children before killing themselves
[caption id="attachment_83856" align="alignleft" width="139"] Günther Quandt (28 July 1881 – 30 December 1954) was a German industrialist and Nazi who founded an industrial empire that today includes BMW and Altana (chemicals).[/caption]
Descendants of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels' wife have become the richest family in Germany.
Magda Goebbels, who was one of the most influential women in the Nazi regime, married Hitler's close ally in 1931. The children of Harald Quandt, her son from a previous marriage, have just seen their family reach a combined net worth of about £24.5billion.
The Quandts, who hold a 46.7 per cent stake in German car manufacturers BMW, have now overtaken the founders of supermarket giants Lidl and Aldi, who had topped the nation's rich list for the last decade, according to Manager magazine.
Magda Goebbels married Günther Quandt in 1921, three years after is wife died, leaving him a widower with two sons, Hellmut and Herbert. The newlyweds had a son soon afterwards, naming him Harald.
Magda left Günther Quandt in 1929, marrying Goebbels two years later. Hitler was his best man.
Harald lived with his mother and the Nazi minister until he joined the German army in 1939. He was in a British Prisoner of War camp in Libya when his mother's farewell letter from Hitler's Berlin bunker arrived.
WHO WAS NAZI PROPAGANDA MINISTER JOSEPH GOEBBELS?
Joseph Goebbels was one of the most important and influential people in Nazi Germany.
Hitler put him in charge of the party's propaganda machine in 1929 and he played a key role in implementing the dictator's agenda.
His limp and sharp tongue earned him the nickname among some as the 'Poison Dwarf'.
He organised attacks against Jews, banned them from the world of the arts and media, censored the news and supported Nazi propaganda films.
As WWII turned in favour of the Allies, he increased his propaganda in order to convince the German people of the idea of 'total war' and mobilisation.
Goebbels killed himself and his wife, and their six biological children with cyanide capsules the day after Hitler committed suicide in 1945.
She wrote to Harald: 'It's likely that you'll be the only one to remain who can continue the tradition of our family.'
Shortly after writing the letter, Magda and Goebbels murdered their six children and killed themselves as Soviet forces closed in on the bunker.
THE GERMAN RICH LIST
- Quandt family. BMW shareholders. £24.5billion.
- Karl Albrecht and Heister families. Owners of Aldi Sued. £14.4billion.
- Schaeffler family. Ball bearing manufacturers. £13.9billion.
- Theo Albrecht Jr. Owner of Aldi Nord. £13billion.
- Dieter Schwarz. Owner of Lidl. £11.4billion.
Harald and his half-brother Herbert later inherited the Quandt fortune, built up by producing rifles and missiles for the Nazis, the Times reported.
Herbert saved BMW from collapsing in the 1960s after backing new car models, and the huge success of the company since has seen the Quandts gradually climb the German rich list.
Harald died in a plane crash in Italy in 1967 and Herbert died in 1982.
The daughters of Harald Quandt, Coleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo, 51, Anette-Angelika May Thies, 59, Gabriele Quandt, 61, and Katarina Geller-Herr, 62, shy away from publicity despite their wealth.
Herbert's widow, Johanna Quandt, 86, and their children, Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten, are often seen mingling with fellow shareholders of the car makers.