German-based JAB Holding Co., whose portfolio of U.S.-based brands include Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme, said it would donate $11.3 million to charity after learning that ancestors of the family-run company were “enthusiastic” supporters of Adolf Hitler, according to various media reports.
Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr., whose present-day descendants own JAB Holding, also “used Russian civilians and French POWs as forced laborers,” said the Associated Press, citing a story by German tabloid Bild.
JAB Managing Partner Peter Harf told Bild that “recent internal research” by the Reimann family confirmed Bild’s findings.
“There is a very dark chapter in the radiant white success story of Germany's second richest family,” according to a translated version of the Bild article published Sunday.
A spokesman for JAB Holding said the firm would not comment beyond what Harf told Bild.
According to AP and Bild, Harf said the family and JAB are “ashamed” of what they’ve learned.
“There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting.”
JAB’s portfolio also includes Pret a Manger, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Company, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and Stumptown Roasters.
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