On its 100th anniversary in March 2016, the German automaker BMW issued an apology for its involvement in World War II and expressed its “deep regret” for providing Nazis with vehicles and employing slave labor.
On March 16, 1916, the Bavarian Motor Works, also known as Bayerische Motoren Werke, was established in Munich. BMW created the engines for Nazi fighter aircraft like the Focke Wulf FW190 during World War II. The high-performance BMW engines, which replaced the original Mercedes engine, gave German aircraft an aerial advantage over the British and French.
The business claimed that during the National Socialist era of the 1930s and 1940s, BMW AG only served as a supplier to the German arms industry. Forced workers, criminals, and prisoners from concentration camps were hired to help with the production of BMW aero engines as demand escalated.
According to the business, BMW “with the release of a book titled “BMW – A German History,” became the first industrial company to start a public discussion on this period of its history. BMW joined the “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” foundation, which was established in 1999 to provide compensation to former forced laborers.
The Quandt family, who acquired a controlling stake in BMW after the war, further taints the company’s past. In 2011, the family admitted involvement in Nazi crimes following the publication of a report it commissioned by historian Joachim Scholtyseck, which documented that Gunther Quandt and his son Herbert were guilty of using slave labor, taking over Jewish firms and doing business with the highest echelons of the Nazi party.
Gunther Quandt acquired the bulk of the stock in AFA, a business that made batteries for the German military, in 1923. In 1933, he joined the Nazi Party, and four years later, Hitler gave him the role of Wehrwirtschaftsfuhrer, or head of the armed economy.
By using the Nazi effort to “Aryanize” Jewish-owned businesses, Gunther was able to purchase businesses. He then employed an estimated 50,000 slave laborers in his factories that made weapons such ammunition, rifles, artillery, and U-boat batteries. Herbert served as the director of an AFA subsidiary in Berlin that employed Polish women who had been relocated from Auschwitz as well as other female slave laborers.
the author Ray Massey “German automaker BMW apologizes for its involvement in the Second World War and expresses “deep regret” for giving the Nazis automobiles and exploiting slave labor, according to the Daily Mail (March 7, 2016).
To “never forget” the Holocaust, Germany vowed. That is complicated by its automakers.
After laying the cornerstone for the new Volkswagen works in 1938, Adolf Hitler examines the new Volkswagen “people’s automobile.” Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, the creator of the vehicle, is positioned to Hitler’s left.
Germany’s postwar success has been largely attributed to its commitment to “never forget” the tragedies of the Holocaust. According to scholar David de Jong, however, the Nazi legacies of Germany’s wealthiest families show the nation’s struggle to live up to that promise.
In his most recent book, Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History Of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties, he tells this tale. The “brazen whitewashing” that continues to occur today by businesses like BMW and Porsche, he claimed, astonished him the most.
In the words of their patriarchs, such as Ferry Porsche, who created the first Porsche sports vehicle, or Herbert Quandt, who saved BMW from bankruptcy, “the families that run them… are sustaining worldwide foundations,” de Jong added.
On the webpages of these foundations, “their financial triumphs are glorified, but the war atrocities they committed or the Nazi affiliations they had, like being voluntary SS officers, are removed.”
The Quandt family, the wealthiest family in Germany, are the heirs to the BMW fortune. Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten, two siblings who together are worth around $38 billion, own more than 40% of BMW.
Gunther Quandt, their great-grandfather, was close to Hitler and employed prisoners of war in his enterprises. Their father, Herbert Quandt, is alleged to have committed war crimes while a member of the Nazi Party.
De Jong contends that the Quandt family still has trouble accepting their past, nevertheless.
“These successors find it difficult, in my opinion, to separate themselves from their father and grandpa. They are surrounded by these folks, “said he.
“Their entire identity is derived from the fortunes that their father and grandfather, Gunther and Herbert, built; they did not make their fortunes. Disavowing the family patriarchs is essentially disavowing one’s own identity.”
There is ample evidence linking the Nazis to well-known auto manufacturers. Adolf Hitler’s party established a government-owned business in May 1937 that was subsequently known as Volkswagen, or “The People’s Car Company.” Hitler himself commissioned Ferdinand Porsche, the company’s founder, to create it.
Never forgetting, according to De Jong, entails facing the past head-on with complete candor.
De Jong added, “History is taught by displaying both the good and the bad. You learn nothing about [Herbert Quandt’s] history by not demonstrating that he was in charge of battery factories in Berlin where thousands of forced slave laborers, including female slave laborers from death camps, were employed.
De Jong believes that historical openness is the “basic least” that can be demanded of the multinational foundations and businesses that these families run.
Justine Kenin edited the audio for this piece, which was created by Vincent Acovino. For the web, Ayen Deng Bior modified it.
What airline is this? BMW owners are incensed by the $18 monthly fee for heated seats.
BMW, a German automaker, acknowledged on Monday that it had “deep regret” for the “enormous suffering” that it had contributed to during World War II by utilizing Nazi slave labor.
BMW AG worked exclusively as a supplier to the German arms industry under the National Socialist dictatorship of the 1930s and 1940s, according to the manufacturer, which made the regretful admission at a celebration in Munich commemorating the illustrious automaker’s 100th birthday.
BMW used Nazi slave labor to provide airplane and motorbike parts for the Nazi war effort during World War II.
Gunther Quandt, the owner of BMW, and his son Herbert reportedly made friends with Hitler and benefited from the Holocaust by receiving enterprises that had been taken from Jews who had been transported to death camps.
“Forced laborers, criminals, and prisoners from concentration camps were hired to help with the production of BMW aviation engines as demand rose. It is still really regrettable how much pain this resulted in and how many people were forced to work “The automaker, whose business name is Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works, said.
Officials claimed that they are continuing efforts that were started in 1983 to confront the organization’s troubled background.
According to a statement from the firm, “BMW AG became the first industrial corporation to launch a public discourse about this chapter of its history with the release of a book entitled “BMW – Eine Deutsche Geschichte (BMW – A German History)”.
The BMW Group has aggressively promoted tolerance, respect, and understanding of other cultures ever since the 1990s.
What part did BMW play in World War Two?
By the start of World War II, the Focke Wulf FW190, one of the best German Nazi fighters, is powered by a BMW 801 radial engine, according to Kinney. “Once more, BMW is a key actor in the development and performance of aircraft fighters during the Second World War.”
What does the BMW represent?
What is the meaning of the BMW logo to you? Many people think it represents a propeller, but is this truly true? Wonder no more, as BMW has revealed the significance of its blue and white logo design (opens in new tab).
Of course, the BMW is often associated with aggressive drivers who roar up behind them on the highway and flash their lights while requesting to be let to pass (although, to be fair, Audi has recently usurped BMW in that regard). The next time a BMW emblem appears in your rearview mirror, though, you won’t have to ponder what it represents.
Previously known as Rapp, the company built aircraft engines for the German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, for the first few years of its existence before adopting its current name in 1917. Rapp’s previous logo included a chess piece knight silhouette encircled by a black ring containing the company name. For its new logo, the company kept the black ring but added the now-famous blue and white design in quarters.
The new look was created to showcase the company’s Bavarian background; the Bavarian flag also has a blue and white striped design, and there was a strong desire for Bavarian independence from Germany at the time BMW was founded. The corporate name, BMW, which is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works, also expresses support for independence.
So where did the concept of a propeller come from? BMW claims that it all began with an advertisement that was printed in 1929, back when the company was still making airplane engines, and showed an airplane with the BMW emblem overlaid over the propeller. A similar illustration in a 1942 BMW magazine strengthened the relationship, and legend has since flourished from there.
Even though the firm hasn’t had anything to do with the aircraft industry in a very long time, BMW acknowledges that it hasn’t really made much of an attempt to dispel the misconception surrounding its emblem. It’s just a cute little pub fact that doesn’t hurt and promotes the BMW brand.
However, it’s important to understand the complete significance of the logo. To learn more and to see how the BMW logo has changed through time, see this article on the corporate website (opens in new tab).
Who owned BMW in World War Two?
Given Hitler’s new idea of an eight-hour workday, the life expectancy of laborers was actually higher than that of other nations. Although there was no direct connection between the Quandt family and BMW during the war, Herbert Quandt was able to purchase BMW because to money his father had saved up during the Nazi regime.
What occurred to BMW after World War Two?
Heavy bombing of BMW’s plants occurred throughout the conflict, and after the war, production of motor cars and airplanes was forbidden at the company’s remaining West German sites. Once more, the company made bicycles, pots, and pans to survive. BMW resumed making motorcycles in 1948.
A concentration camp was used by BMW?
BMW underwent a transition throughout the National Socialist era, going from a mobility company to an arms manufacturer, and eventually becoming one of the most significant businesses involved in the German war economy. The manufacturing of cars and motorcycles was still going on, but the majority of the company’s sales came from the aero-engine business. To accommodate the need for armaments, new locations were created and manufacturing was dramatically increased. About order to meet the production targets set by the authorities during the war, the company management showed no moral qualms in using a large amount of forced labor and prisoners in concentration camps. Numerous people died from hunger and tiredness while working under such appalling conditions. In addition to bearing a heavy share of the blame for these incidents, BMW surely feels guilty for having committed these crimes. As a result, BMW took part in compensation payments and ordered two academic dissertations to look into this troubling chapter in its own history. The BMW Group is steadfastly dedicated to an inclusive society free from prejudice and discrimination.
Did BMW produce aircraft during World War Two?
The BMW 801 was a potent German 14-cylinder air-cooled 41.8-liter (2,550 cu in) radial engine that was produced by BMW and utilized in a number of German Luftwaffe aircraft during World War II. The twin-row engine produced between 1,560 and 2,000 PS in its production versions (1,540-1,970 hp, or 1,150-1,470 kW). With more than 61,000 engines built, it was Germany’s most prolific radial engine during World War II.
The German transport and utility aircraft’s current radial types were to be replaced by the 801 at first. A prerequisite for high performance designs at the period was an inline engine due to its reduced frontal area and resulting lower drag, which was universally accepted among European designers. After Kurt Tank successfully adapted a BMW 801 to a new fighter design he was developing, the 801 gained notoriety as the engine for the renowned Focke-Wulf Fw 190. The BMW 801 radial also paved the way for the adoption of what is now known as an engine control unit: its Kommandogerat engine management system replaced a number of the aviation engine management control parameters of the time, enabling proper engine operation with just one throttle lever.