WWII-era Germany represents one of the most deplorable times in the history of humanity, but did you know that several major companies that are still thriving today had ties with the Nazi movement? If you drive a Jetta, own a Kodak camera, purchase L'Oreal products, or even take Bayer to alleviate headaches, you're unknowingly using a product that had ties to the Third Reich. Some of these companies associated with Nazi Germany may be obvious, but many of them will likely surprise you – a few of these even have direct ties to Adolf Hitler himself.
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
The Reimann family own a controlling stake in JAB Holdings and have a sinister history. A spokesperson confirmed that Albert Reimann Sr. and Jr. exploited both Russian and French POW's during WWII and were avid supporters of the anti-Semitic agenda in Germany. Peter Haft, chairman of JAB Holdings, confirmed the ancestry of the family saying, "Reimann Sr. and Reimann Jr. were guilty. The two businessmen have passed, but they actually belonged in prison. We were ashamed and white as sheets. There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting."
As a result of the revelation, the Reimann family will allegedly donate $11 million to an undisclosed charity.
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It turns out Coca-Cola was huge in Nazi Germany, and the American company had absolutely zero problem with that, happily sending the necessary ingredients across the Atlantic Ocean to meet the consumer demands of the Third Reich. It was all well and good until the US got involved in WWII, and then doing business with Germany suddenly became a matter of treason. But what about the German Coca-Cola reps still looking to make a living? They had to come up with something - and so they did.
Fanta - yes, that Fanta - was the brainchild of Max Keith, the head of the German-subsidiary of the Coca-Cola company. With the help of a few scientists he managed to create the new beverage using, among other things, fruit pulp, beet sugar, and whey (which, if you don't know, is a cheese by-product).
Fanta was a huge hit and while nowadays the drink's slogan is "Don't You Wanna Fanta?" back then it could have just as easily been "Don't You Wanna Be A Nazi?"
- Photo: flickr / CC0
To Deadheads and hippies who grew up in the 60s, the Volkswagen Beetle represented peace, love, and tranquility. But did you know that the Beetle was actually the brainchild of Adolf Hitler himself? The Führer had the desire to create a car for the common man, since owning a vehicle in early 1930s Germany was something only the wealthy could afford.
In fact, the word "Volks" translates to "people" in German, thus making the Volkswagen "the people's car." Hitler's desire to create an affordable car for the common man was deemed impossible if done by the private industry, leading him to team with Ferdinand Porsche to create what we now call the Beetle.
So next time you see a cheery, 19-year-old college girl cruising in her VW, just smile knowing that she's unknowingly driving a product conceived by one of the most evil men to ever live.
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
Modern day Hugo Boss suits are the go-to uniforms for corporate douchebags, but unfortunately, those aren't the only uniforms that the company is known for making. During World War II, Boss manufactured the all black uniforms for the SS, the police-like faction of the Party.
Hugo Boss started in 1924 and was only in business for a few years before declaring bankruptcy, until 1931 when he was given a second chance by creditors. Boss joined the Hitler's party and was presented with numerous opportunities to manufacture their uniforms, eventually turning the company into a massive success.
Boss was also known to be a great admirer of Hitler, going as far as hanging a picture of himself and the Fuhrer in his apartment. Still want to wear that overpriced cologne?