Johanna Quandt, head of the family that owns nearly half of BMW, died in her home in Bad Homburg, Germany, at age 89. She is expected to leave her shares in the company to her children.
The mysterious and elusive Quandt family is in hot water again, nearly two years after its Nazi connections during World War II were exposed. The German family's patriarch, Herbert Quandt, nearly single-handedly saved BMW from being bought out by Daimler-Benz in 1959. Now, three living family members own nearly half of the German brand, and stand accused of buying votes with donations to the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, mere days ahead of a European Union vote that would cap vehicl
Chances are, if you do enough digging around in your family's past, you're going to come up with something unpleasant somewhere down the line. That's exactly what Germany's Quandt family, heirs to the BMW kingdom, found after an independent study discovered that Geunther Quandt (pictured at right), the grandfather of Gabriele, used an estimated 50,000 forced laborers in his arms factory.
Susanne Klatten is learning what it's like to live a recurring nightmare. Last year, the heiress to BMW's controversial controlling Quandt family fortune was blackmailed by Helg Sgarbi, a conman who seduced her into a two month affair and subsequently threatened to distribute video footage of their encounters to the public if she didn't hand over a payment of some 50 million Euros. Klatten refused and instead went to the police, resulting in a six-year jail sentence for Sgarbi. Germany's wealthi
Reports are surfacing from Munich where Susanne Klatten, the richest woman in Germany and heiress to the Quandt family fortune, is alleging she has been blackmailed. The Quandt family, which owns controlling interest in BMW, was outed in a recent documentary outlining the family's wartime activities that included close ties with Adolf Hitler and the use of slave labor during the Holocaust to make batteries and munitions for the Nazis.
For those who missed the news, a documentary aired late last month at the Hamburg film festival and on German television in which the Quandt family, principal shareholders in BMW, have been implicated in Nazi war crimes stemming from the family's past during the Holocaust and concurrent Second World War.