By Ryan Velez
Known to history for perpetrating some of the most heinous crimes against humanity ever known, many would be horrified to hear that those descended from the Nazis have any modicum of success, let alone having the title of billionaire. And yet, Celebrity Net Worth shares the tale of six individuals who are not only some of the richest people in Germany but also are the step-grandchildren of one of Hitler’s right-hand men.
For those who are not familiar with Goebbels, he was not some simple cog in Hitler’s organization. As the head propagandist for the Nazi regime, his work included leading the charge of all Nazi propaganda that included burning of books, destroying synagogues and the general persecution of Jews and other groups. Goebbels and his wife Magda would have six children, who they would kill with cyanide pills before committing suicide themselves at the end of World War II. But Magda had a child from a previous marriage, Harald Quandt, and it is with him that our story begins.
Guenther Quandt, Harald’s father, created one of the largest and earliest German industrial business empires, starting out in textiles and eventually making all World War I uniforms during the country. Guenther would marry a woman named Magda Ritshcel from 1921 – 1927, and along with their son Harald, Guenther also had a son from a previous marriage of his own, Herbert. The elder Quandt would profit from World War II as well, producing batteries for German submarines, firearms, ammunition, missiles and rocket launchers while using 50,000 slave laborers which included concentration camp prisoners and POWs.
While Goebbels and Magda would kill their own children as mentioned before, Harald wouldn’t learn of this until 1947, while he was in an Allied POW camp. Goebbels sent his stepson Harald the following note: “It’s likely that you’ll be the only one to remain who can continue the tradition of our family.” Following the death of Guenther seven years after the war, Herbert and Harald would find business success, including Herbert purchasing 46.7% of BMW in the early 1960s and Harald selling the family’s 14% stake in Daimler to the Kuwait Investment Authority for $1 billion in 1974.
This has translated into massive wealth for the latest generation. Harald’s four surviving daughters transformed a $760 million into a $6 billion shared fortune. However, Herbert’s children are even more successful. Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten (Herbert’s children), still own 46.7% of BMW, worth $25.8 billion now.