The Six Degrees of Separation Between Joseph Goebbels and Daimler and BMW

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You won't believe how easy it is for someone to connect Nazi propaganda mastermind Joseph Goebbels to the luxury car manufacturers Daimler and BMW. Bloomberg's David de Jong looked into the family history of Katarina Geller-Herr, 61; Gabriele Quandt, 60; Anette-Angelika May-Thies, 58; and 50-year-old Colleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo, the ultra rich but low profile shareholders of Daimler and BMW.

The group inherited an estimated $760 million from their mother, Inge Quandt, when she died in 1978 that included shares in the two car companies. Their father's name was Harold Quandt, and he was one of the only surviving children from Magda Goebbels' first marriage. Magda was Joseph Goebbels' wife who committed suicide with him in Adolf Hitler's bunker in 1945. See, that wasn't so hard. 

The rest of the story, about how Inge, Harold, and Harold's half-brother Herbert maintained the family fortune for the rest of the 20th century — and built their family networth up to what's estimated today to be a combined $6.2 billion — is well worth your time. There's more juicy family-feud stuff, like this:

“There was constant rivalry,” said Bonn-based history professor Joachim Scholtyseck, author of a family-commissioned study about their involvement with the Third Reich, in a telephone interview. “It didn’t matter that Goebbels didn’t like him. It didn’t have any influence on Quandt’s ability to make money.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.